One-Pot Indian Red Lentil Dal Soup [Vegan, Oil-Free]

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This simplified red lentil dal soup is the perfect cozy meal for warming up on these dark chilly days as we begin to approach winter. Fragrant spices along with fresh ginger and garlic make for such a comforting and tasty soup. 

I love Indian food, but what usually holds me back from making dals all the time is the mess of having to use multiple pots and pans to make the tempering separately from the lentils, which is the traditional way dal is made. So I set out to make a one-pot version of this classic Indian recipe and the result was this delicious red lentil dal soup.

This dal has all of the traditional Indian spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and garam masala, which give it a lovely depth of flavor, but instead of making the tempering separately, we make the tempering in the same pot as the lentils. Red lentils are the fastest cooking lentil variety and break down really nicely into a fluffy nutritious soup base. This dal is thick enough that it could be served over rice or with a side of naan, but it also holds up nicely on it's own as a soup. 

I like to get some greens in every meal that I possibly can, so I added a handful of baby kale and some chopped fresh cilantro for even more flavor.

I attribute everything I know about making vegan Indian food to Vegan Richa. Before buying her recipe books, I had no idea how to use Indian spices, and now I can't imagine life without them. For more traditional recipes, try out her Dal Fry or her Punjabi Dal Fry, which are the recipes that inspired me to make this lazy-person's dal. But if you're like me and trying to minimize the dishes you'll have to wash, I hope you enjoy my simplified one-pot version! 

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