Simple Mung Dhal Soup

Satisfying, Crockpot Friendly Indian Vegetarian Dhal Soup Recipe

Simple Mung Dhal Soup

We like our mung dhal soup thick and substantial. We eat mung dhal often, because it's satisfying, easy to digest, and versatile. It goes with every kind of grain or vegetable, and freezes well for quick meals.

We often add veggies to mung dhal, especially if we're cooking it in the crockpot, but we like this simple version because it's great as a protein rich side, rounding out a meal of grains & veggies.

Total prep & cook time: 90 min

8 Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving, 61 g: 211 cal, 33g carb, 4g fat, 299mg sodium, 9g fiber, 12g protein, low Saturated Fat, low Cholesterol, good source Folate. Estimated glycemic load 15.


  • 2 cups mung dhal
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp gr. cumin
  • 2 tsp gr. coriander
  • 1 tsp powdered turmeric
  • Optional: pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


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  1. Wash and rinse the dhal. Soak in hot water to cover for an hour
  2. Drain the dhal, rinse away any loose skins (those green bits), place in a large stock pot, and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, skim the foam, add the bay leaf, jalapeno pepper, and fresh ginger slices
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook covered for an hour or more, stirring occasionally. Add more water or stock if the soup seems too thick
  4. When the dhal is soft but still intact, fish out the jalapeno, bay leaf and ginger slices if you can find them
  5. Heat the oil on low in a small frying pan. Mix in the dry spices and salt, and heat until foaming - keep your eye on them so they don't burn
  6. Spoon a cup of liquid from the dhal, and stir into the spice mixture. Transfer all to the dhal soup and stir it in
  7. Stir in the lemon juice, and minced fresh cilantro
  8. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes more, stirring with a whisk to blend the dhal and make it more smooth
  9. Add more salt, and pepper to taste if desired

Crockpot Directions:

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  1. Put the soaked, rinsed dhal in an 8-10 qt crockpot
  2. Add the jalapeno, bay leaf, and ginger slices
  3. Add 6 cups of water or soup stock
  4. Cover and cook 6 hours on medium
  5. Add more water or soup stock if the soup seems too thick
  6. Follow the above directions from number 4
  7. Reduce the heat setting to warm or off

Recipe Tips

Don't skimp on the olive oil, as legumes are astringent. The oil makes the soup smooth, rich - and digestible. Plus this is a big recipe. We suggest freezing what you don't eat for another day.

Menu Suggestions: Yummy with tortillas, chapati, or artisan bread. For a full meal, serve with steamed brown or white basmati rice or other grain, along with any of the following: curried veggies, plain steamed veggies, a salad, chutney. Optional: raita or Indian Lassi for lacto-vegetarians.

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