Fenugreek-moong lentil soup

by Kiran on March 9, 2012 · 125 comments

in Indian, Soups, Vegetarian

Hello.

Looks like the blog is up today. Gasp! I better knock-on-wood now. There has been so many issues lately, but it looks like everything is fine so far. If you had issues earlier, I apologize for it.

Perhaps I can treat you to an ice cream? Hmm?

Let’s talk Lentils. From moong dal (yellow lentils) to split peas, we often indulge in different lentils every week. Surprisingly, it took me all this while to post a recipe, especially since I am  married to a guy who LOVES his dose of lentils & fenugreek deliciousness. Seeds are not enough to satiate long-time favorite foods.

Fenugreek leaves are so tender and bursting with flavors. Source out fresh fenugreek leaves from your local Indian grocery or specialty food stores. They would most definitely have fresh fenugreek leaves. I guess dried leaves would work, but nothing beats a fresh bunch.

If you really can’t find any, substituting it with fresh spinach leaves is definitely permissible. I’ve made lentils with spinach as well, and guarantee it would taste as good.

The word “guarantee” is loosely quoted over here. Please don’t sue me over it.

If you love lentils as much as we do (or even more!), investing in a pressure cooker is definitely worth the effort, time and price. I don’t use canned beans. It’s expensive, overly processed and the list of ingredients are often difficult to pronounce. I am not suggesting every can is contaminated and dangerous to consume. But for a huge pack of dry lentils at $3.99, we could easily prepare lentils for 10 meals or more.

Not a joke. I don’t kid about $.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
For tempering:
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 red/green chili’s, slit lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 5 – 6 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp toasted ground cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp toasted ground coriander powder
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups fenugreek/spinach leaves*
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. **Wash lentils until water runs clear. Add lentils into pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, turmeric powder, salt & a pinch of asafoetida powder.
  2. Pressure cook lentils for only 1 whistle. Remove pressure cooker from heat and put it aside.
  3. For tempering, heat a small nonstick skillet on medium. Once hot, add ghee.
  4. Sprinkle in cumin seeds and allow to sputter for a few seconds before adding chopped onions. Fry till translucent & fragrant.
  5. Add chili’s, garlic, curry leaves and tomatoes. Mix to combine and cook for 2 minutes or until tomatoes soften.
  6. Sprinkle in toasted cumin + coriander powder and fenugreek leaves. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  7. Add tempered ingredients into lentils. Drizzle in some lemon juice and mix to combine.
  8. Best serve hot with crusty bread/chapattis or rice :)

*Only pick leaves & tender stems from a bunch of fenugreek. Discard tough stems and roots.
** Cooking time would vary if not using pressure cooker. Suggest pre-soaking lentils to help reduce cooking time.

 

I’m excited to participate in a month long event aptly named Indian Food Palooza, brought to you by the blogging community to celebrate Indian food and cooks like you + me. Join in the fun.

Off to look into the refrigerator for lunch inspiration. That box of homemade strawberry ice-cream is calling my name. Literally.

Have a happy weekend. What’s your favorite method of enjoying lentils?

 

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa March 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

A very interesting soup! I bet it tastes gorgeous. I love fenugreek seeds, but I’ve never eaten the fresh leaves…

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Rosa — thanks dear. Fresh leaves are not available everywhere. You can try it with spinach instead :)

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3 kankana March 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Gorgeous photo Kiran and I love love daal with methi leaves.
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4 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Kankana — thanks dear :)

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5 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb March 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

It looks wonderful Kiran, I am so tempted with your photos. great presentation, which will leave everyone drooling and craving for lentil with fenugreek. I agree dried lentille r economical and healthier, much better!
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Wheatgrass Juice power punch

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6 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Helene — thanks so much dear :)

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7 the wicked noodle March 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

{dreamy sigh…} I just love your photography. That chile perched on top is just gorgeous. Makes me want to go out and buy a lifetime supply of lentils just for this recipe. I’ve never cooked with fresh fenugreek (some chef I am, huh?!!) and would love to. I’m going to swing into our Indian grocery store this weekend.
the wicked noodle recently posted..slow-roasted tomatoes

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8 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Kristy — haha, thanks sweetie. You are way too humble! I hope you get to try fresh fenugreek leaves soon.

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9 Margarita March 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

This dish looks so good! I love lentils… my favorite recipe is an Ethiopian dish, I forget the name… but the way that lentil dish is made is so good and so amazing with injera. About the fenugreek leaves, I do not know where to find any around here. Is the fenugreek seed flavor so much different from the leaves (all I have are the seeds).
Margarita recently posted..Chicken Basil Stir-Fry

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10 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Margarita — thanks sweetie. I am intrigued about the Ethiopian dish :)

Are there any ethnic Indian stores in your area? You can either use dried fenugreek leaves or 1/2 tsp of the seeds. If you are using the seeds, it won’t impart as much taste in this recipe. But you could always use spinach instead :)

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11 Heather @girlichef March 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM

So beautiful…the pictures are all amazing. I have been on the lookout for fenugreek (leaves and seeds) for ages, but to no avail. This is just lovely and comforting.
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12 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Heather — thanks dear. Fresh spinach would work its wonders too!

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13 Biana | Meal Planning Tips March 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Kiran, I love lentils, as well as cumin and coriander! This is definitely a soup I would like to make!
Biana | Meal Planning Tips recently posted..Pasta Recipes With Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta, Parmesan Cheese

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14 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Biana — thanks and make it soon :)

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15 Glamorous Glutton March 9, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I love lentils and I’m always looking for new recipes. I love the photos and I’m quite envious of those lovely copper pots. Beautiful pictures. GG
Glamorous Glutton recently posted..A Stroll Down Portobello

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16 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM

GG — thanks dear :)

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17 Tadka Pasta March 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Mmm..that looks just wonderful. Never tried this combination, I’m sure the methi perks up the moong fantastically.
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18 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM

TP — thanks, and yes, you should try this combo :)

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19 Caroline March 9, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I’m a huge lentil fan. Never heard of Fenugreek leaves, but they sure sounds great per your description. Love your presentation, too. That copper bowl is so pretty! Hope you have a great weekend, Kiran! x
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20 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Caroline — thank you sweetie. I hope you get to try this recipe!

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21 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

And now I desperately want to find fresh fenugreek leaves!
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22 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Sylvie — lol, you made me laugh :D

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23 chinmayie @ love food eat March 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Such beautiful photos Kiran! Love the props and styling :) I love methi dal. I just made it last week…
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Pomegranate & Rose Cooler

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24 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Chinmayie — thanks dear :)

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25 notyet100 March 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Even I luv dal this wayit looks delicious,..:)

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26 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:53 PM

NY100 — Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting :)

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27 Maureen March 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

This soup is so beautiful! I’ve never seen a fenugreek leaf in my life, how bad is that? We don’t have an Indian grocery store that I’m aware of – smallish beach area. I wonder if I can grow them myself out back? I’ll look into it because I’d love to make this.
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28 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Maureen — thanks dear. I’ve never cooked or tasted artichokes. I don’t think it’s bad, there’s just too many produce to taste or experiment. Not sure if you can plant it out in the beach area. Keep us posted :)

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29 Richa@HobbyandMore March 10, 2012 at 2:12 AM

fresh fenugreek flies off the shelf whenever the indian store gets a fresh batch.. and since the store is a bit far… most weeks we miss it .. methi daal has become the onc ein a few months celebration event:) the wait definitely elevates this earthy daal to the levels of creamy tikka masala type dishes:)
love that small pot and the pretty fresh fenugreek leaves.
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30 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Richa — its amazing how, many love indulging into fresh meethi :)

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31 Viya S March 10, 2012 at 2:13 AM

The daal looks so good:)
Viya S recently posted..Chilled Mango Lassi~Summer Cooler Drink

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32 Kiran March 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Viya — thank you!!!

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33 Nava Krishnan March 10, 2012 at 3:04 AM

Great minds think alike. Just with my posting of a recipe with lentil, here’s another yummy version. Very nice and spinach is one of the most reasonably priced green veg over here. One bunch at times just cost me about RM1.00 and I will make another lentil dish from your sharing.

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34 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

Nava — thanks! spinach is quite reasonable here as well.

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35 Deeps @ Naughty Curry March 10, 2012 at 4:14 AM

we are lentil lovers too, have to make dal atleast thrice a week. gorgeous pics, esp the 4th one. im so in love with ur collection of antique copper pots & pans :)

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36 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Deeps — We all ought to be lentil lovers. Thanks for the compliments, dear :)

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37 Gourmantine March 10, 2012 at 4:46 AM

The soup is really beautifully presented and the colors are so enticing! I love puy lentils in various salads, with spicy vinaigrettes! :)
Gourmantine recently posted..Chocolate orange mousse

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38 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Gourmantine — I love lentils in soups, but these days have been enjoying it in salads as well :)

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39 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 10, 2012 at 5:11 AM

I love methi leaves wih all my heat and mung with methi is fav combo :-)

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40 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Kulsum — welcome to Recipebox and thanks for sharing similar love :)

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41 marla March 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Such a very beautiful + comforting soup. Glad to see your blog up & running smoothly too!

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42 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Marla — thank you so much dear :)

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43 Ina gawne March 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

A most delicious looking soup…love love lentils! Your pictures are so gorgeous too – makes me want to dive in!
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44 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Ina — thanks dear! Just make sure you “dive” in, head first ;)

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45 keerthana March 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Confession 1: I cannot cook for nuts, I don’t read the recipes..

Confession 2: Love all the pics, they make me drool :P
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46 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Keerthana — thanks so much sweetie :D

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47 Katherine Martinelli March 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Ooh I love fenugreek but have never had fresh fenugreek leaves – need to seek some out! The soup looks amazing.

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48 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Katherine — thanks dear!

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49 Radhika @ Just Home Made March 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Kiran,
I could enjoy lentils anytime and fenugreek just takes it a notch up, they are such a fantastic couple!
Gosh! I love your copper containers! Each one of them is super cute and rustic good! Also, that first picture is neat.. You made fenugreek look glam there..

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50 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Radhika — oh, thanks a lot for the compliments. I’d love to think dal runs through our DNA ;)

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51 qt March 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Looks so good!

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52 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM

QT — welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting :)

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53 Liren March 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM

So, so so beautiful! I must find fresh fenugreek!
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54 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Liren — thanks dear. I hope you are feeling better now :)

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55 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 10, 2012 at 9:11 PM

I adore lentils too! In fact we’re going to have them this coming week but in a vegetarian version of a meat dish! :D
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56 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Lorraine — vegetarian version of a meat dish?!? Lols, bon apetit!!

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57 Hotly Spiced March 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM

That soup looks divine Kiran and I just love how you presented it. What a gorgeous shiny bowl! I would love to try your soup. I hope you get all your issues sorted re technology – I can certainly empathise – eight days now and no internet connection – it’s driving me mad!
Hotly Spiced recently posted..Where Are Your Clothes Archie?

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58 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Charlie — thanks dear. It’s resolved now and I hope your internet woes are solved as well.

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59 Nimsrules March 11, 2012 at 5:43 AM

This one’s always been my favourite. What I loved the most was your presentation. Gread job!
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60 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Nimsrules — welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting :)

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61 Farwin March 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I should try the moong with methi next time I make it.Lovely pics !
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62 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Farwin — thanks and let me know how it tastes :)

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63 Jill Colonna March 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

This looks incredibly tasty and you’ve inspired me to cook more with lentils. So healthy, too. You know how to tempt!
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64 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Jill — Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments! This recipe is so simple and I bet you would be able to pull it off brilliantly :)

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65 Magic of Spice March 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

What a lovely soup! I adore lentils and will want to try them with the flavors you have paired here…delightful!
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66 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Alisha — thanks dear & and a very Happy Birthday!!

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67 lisaiscooking March 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Beautiful dish! I always have difficulty finding Indian ingredients here, but I just learned of another Indian grocery store I should try. I hope I can find fresh fenugreek leaves!
lisaiscooking recently posted..Birbal Kee Khitcheree

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68 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Lisa — thanks dear, and I hope you get to cook some delicious Indian foods soon with the discovery of a local store :)

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69 Vanessa Kimbell March 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Oh your photographs leap off the page. I Love stopping by and reading your posts… so inspiring and one of the loveliest blogs I’ve seen.

I love lentils and feel i should use them more .. so I shall make this recipe later in the week.

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70 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Vanessa — thank you so much for the compliments dear. You made my day :)

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71 Cass @foodmyfriend March 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

This looks so delicious! Loving everything about it. I am a real fan of lentils in cold weather. They fill you up but don’t make you fat :)
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72 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Cass — thanks dear. Being fat or thin isn’t an issue, being HEALTHY overall is what matters :)

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73 Simply Life March 11, 2012 at 9:05 PM

I LOVE lentils- these look fabulous!
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74 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Gina — thank you sweetie :)

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75 foodwanderings March 11, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Aww Kiran what a wonderful dish. I do have hulled moong beans in the pantry and might make your recipe!!

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76 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Shulie — thanks dear, let me know how it tastes :)

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77 honeywhatscooking March 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM

looks so delicious. i usually make toor dal or spinach toor dal, once in a while moong dal. i need to try fenugreek, i loveeeeeeeee methi. question. how come you use 1 cup of water for 3/4 cup of dal? i usually add 3 times the amount of water to 1 cup of dal. just trying to figure out why it is different. :)
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78 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Honey — thanks dear. I used hulled (chilka) small tiny yellow mung dal. It doesn’t take too much time to cook in comparison to toor :)

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79 Suchi March 12, 2012 at 6:39 AM

Wow I have only ever had meethi ka paratha and aloo methi…my experience of eating greens in India has been shamefully scarce….now I am older and wiser and trying to mend my ways err eating habits…using fenugreek to make dal is new to me…trying to imagine the taste…with all that moong dal and ghee I am sure it must be taste divine! Need I mention how nice the photos look? :-)
Suchi recently posted..Murgh Malai Tikka/ No Spice, Creamy Chicken Kebabs

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80 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Suchi — thank you! I didn’t use much ghee so the flavors are definitely heightened by fresh meethi and spices. Try it, you’ll love it :D

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81 Cher March 12, 2012 at 8:16 AM

I printed this out – I love the flavors that are coming together in here. Fenugreek is one of those ingredients that deserves more love :-)
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82 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Cher — thank you so much and please let me know how it tastes :)

BTW, did I tell you how much I love your name? :D

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83 Cher March 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Thanks!
I made a version of this for dinner Monday night & it came out wonderfully. I had to substitute spinach & used a can of crushed tomatoes to add to the stew; some black beluga lentils. Served it over brown basmati (I usually keep some pre-cooked in the fridge).
It was absolutely wonderful- even the fussy eater had 2nds. Definitely is going to show up on our table again.
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84 Parsley Sage March 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I just can’t get over how lovely your photos are every time I visit. Seriously, you should coffee table book this stuff :) So pretty! Delicious soup as well, I’ve never even had lentils before. Another new food for my ever growing list
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85 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Parsley Sage — thank you so much for the compliments my dear, you made my day :)

Now, go and try lentils. ASAP!

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86 Raks March 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Looks and sounds incredible and loved that cute serving bowl! :)
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87 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Raks — thank you!!!

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88 Hannah March 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I’ve never had, nor even seen, fresh fenugreek before, but I’m very intrigued! I may just have to try this with your suggestion of spinach instead, plus a pinch of ground fenugreek since I do have that on hand.
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89 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Hannah — thanks dear. And yes, try it with spinach and 1/2 tsp of ground fenugreek :)

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90 Andi at The Particular Traveler March 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Mmm, these lentils look amazing. I’m embarrassed to admit that as a long-time cook of Indian dishes, I’ve never used fresh fenugreek. I shall be giving it a try soon, thanks to your yummy blog! :-)
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91 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Andi — go and try fenugreek leaves, now :D

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92 Kitchen Butterfly March 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM

The best lentils I’ve had have been cooked by my Indian friends – nothing I make comes close to tasting as good…..

Lovely photos, and can I have some ice cream too?
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93 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

KB — thanks dear, and I wish I could get you some ice cream. For reals :)

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94 Jeanette March 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

This lentil soup looks incredible. I’ve only bought fresh fenugreek once from the Indian grocery store. Love how delicate the leaves are.
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95 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Jeanette — thank you and I’m so glad you’ve bought fenugreek leaves before :)

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96 Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM

looks great will get some fenu greek leaves

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97 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Rebecca — thanks dear :)

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98 Angie@Angie's Recipes March 13, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I sure love those fenugreek leaves!! And the soup looks very tasty.
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99 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Angie — thank you!!

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100 nancy at good food matters March 13, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Hi Kiran, what beautiful copper pots for your lentil soup-
I don’t know if I can find fresh fenugreek —I’ll have to check at one of our global markets. My favorite red lentil soup is Ethiopian inspired in its spicing. Lentils are so delicious–and full of nutrition.
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101 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Nancy — thanks and I agree with you on lentils. Super nutritious and packed with deliciousness :)

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102 Asmita March 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Lentils are a must at my place too. We just love anything with them. This soup looks so healthy and filling. Love the copper pot you have used. Looks beautiful!
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103 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Asmita — thanks a lot my dear, and enjoy on your vacay :)

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104 Marina March 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM

What a wonderful soup you’ve made! here for a first time and love it!

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105 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Marina — welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliment :)

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106 Viviane Bauquet Farre March 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Kiran, what an interesting and scrumptious soup you’ve concocted. I love the ingredient list and would be thrilled to try this sometime. Brava!

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107 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Viviane — welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments :)

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108 happyzhangbo-lovingfood March 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The soup looks delicious, love the props :-)
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109 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Happy — thank you so much dear :)

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110 Russell at Chasing Delicious March 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Such a scrumptious soup! And lovely shots too!

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111 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Russell — Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments :)

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112 Nami | Just One Cookbook March 14, 2012 at 1:30 AM

I have not yet tried lentil soup yet but one day I’ll try. I’ve seen so many lentil recipes that I just need to give it a go. Beautiful pictures as always Kiran!
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113 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Nami — thanks dear. Give lentils a shot :)

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114 Baker Street March 14, 2012 at 9:50 AM

You even make a bowl of moong soup look so inviting. Great clicks Kiran.
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115 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Anu — thanks my dear :)

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116 easyfoodsmith March 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

This is a favourite in our house! Love your clicks
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117 Kiran March 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

EasyFoodSmith — thank you so much!!

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118 Sara {OneTribeGourmet} March 14, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Wow love the fenugreek in the lentil soup! Gorgeous photography!
Sara {OneTribeGourmet} recently posted..A Vegetarian Mughlai Feast – Chickpea Byriani with Cumin & Coriander Potato Kebabs – #Indianfoodpalooza

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119 Kiran March 27, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Sara — thank you dear :)

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120 vianney March 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

We love lentils and always love to find new recipes to enjoy them with!! thanks
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121 Kiran March 28, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Vianney — you are welcome :)

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122 Denise @ Creative Kitchen April 5, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Your photography is amazing! What kind of camera do you use? Do you use a special lens?

Wow!!!
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123 Kiran April 12, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Denise — thanks a lot for the compliments, dear :) I use a Nikon D5000, with either a 90mm or 50mm lens. Nothing fancy.

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124 Shoshannah October 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I am so excited to try this recipe. I am on Weight Watchers and the one thing I don’t see is how many servings this recipe makes. I would consider a serving a cup to a cup and a half. I would really appreciate it if you could even guess at a number. I am very fortunate to have access to many Indian grocers and can’t wait to go on an adventure to try fenugreek!! *fingers crossed that I find it*

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