Fennel-Flavored Urad Dal Soup (Sada Urad Dal)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Fennel-Flavored Urad Dal Soup (Sada Urad Dal)

Yamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine is a great place to start if you are looking for simple but stunning soup recipes. I have tried most of the soups in her dal soup section, and not only are the majority of them very easy to make, they are absolutely delicious besides. Yamuna Devi says this is her favorite recipe for urad dal, although I'm not sure I can choose between this elegant and fragrant fennel-flavored urad dal soup or her equally tasty and beautiful urad dal with tomato soup. Alas, I guess I must continue to make both soups as I don't think I will ever make up my mind.

On the menu with:

Aloo Gobi
Basmati Rice with Ginger-Seasoned Yogurt

Fennel-Flavored Urad Dal Soup (Sada Urad Dal)Fennel-Flavored Urad Dal Soup (Sada Urad Dal)
Recipe by
From Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on February 21, 2008

A simple and light but elegant and wonderfully fragrant urad dal and tomato soup flavored with fennel seeds and fresh mint

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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  • 2/3 cups split skinless urad dal
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 2 to 3 dried whole red chilies, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Thoroughly rinse the urad dal and set aside.

  • Blend together the ginger, fennel seeds and 1 cup of the water in a blender of food processor. Pour into a large saucepan and add the remaining 5 cups of water, urad dal and half of the mint. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to moderately low, cover, and gently simmer for 1 hour or until the dal is soft and fully cooked.

  • Remove from heat, add the salt, and beat with a wire whisk or hand blender until the soup is creamy.

  • In a small saucepan, heat the ghee, butter or oil over moderately high heat. When hot, throw in the chili pieces and cumin seeds, and fry for 1 or 2 minutes or until the cumin seeds darken a few shades. Add the asafetida, then quickly pour in tomatoes. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the tomatoes are thickened. Pour into the soup, cover immediately, and allow the fried seasonings to soak into the soup for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining mint, stir and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


Sagari said...

wonderfulllll soup for this winter Lisa

Katy said...

that sounds so good -- i was just trying to think of a fennel soup recipe today! yours really sounds delicious.

Lisa Turner said...


There will be more fennel soups to choose from coming tomorrow. Check back for the roundup.

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious, I really like the flavor of fennel. Looking forward to the roundup!

Anonymous said...

So funny - recently I have been cooking from this book too. I made the chickpea and ginger salad - you can have a look on my blog if you like.

I love the book. Wonderful and easy. Your pic of Chickpeas in a Golden Karhi Sauce is so lovely, I just have to make it. But for tonight, her basic mung soup.

Peter M said...

Lisa, the soup is so vibrant, I love fennel and it's also a good digestive.

indosungod said...

Looking forward to the roundup. Just looking at the soup makes me feel warm and cozy.

Lisa Turner said...


I noticed you had a link to Ms. Devi's cookbook on your sidebar not too long ago. I've tried the chickpea and ginger salad and it's delicious.

test it comm said...

That soup looks good, though I have never encountered asafetida before.

basil said...

That soup was awesome. Thanks Lisa.