Toor Dal Soup with Sweet Potato, Dried Apricots and Coconut Milk

lentil soup with apricots and coconut milk

This is not the first time I have used dried apricots in a soup and surely it won't be the last. Here Indian spicing comes together with earthy dals, sweet dried apricots and sweet potato tempered by refreshing coconut milk. Yes, soup is more of a winter meal for most of us, but I adore soup anytime of year and although it is hot outside, this spicy dish will help you cool down. Try it yourself and see if you don't agree.

Notes: Toor dal and chana dal are easily obtained at Indian and Asian grocery stores, though you may use red lentils or yellow split peas instead. If using red lentils, just rinse them well and skip the soaking time. Carrots would be a nice substitute for the sweet potato if you want a little less sweetness — toss them in with the lentils with no prior preparation except for a good scrub in cool water.

Toor Dal Soup with Dried Apricots and Coconut MilkToor Dal Soup with Dried Apricots and Coconut Milk
Recipe by
Inspired by The Taste Space
Cuisine: Indian
Published on July 12, 2013

Simple, rich and comforting sweet and hot Indian dal soup with sweet potato, dried apricots and coconut milk

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or sesame oil
  • 1 large shallot or 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 to 3 green or red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I used Kashmiri)
  • pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnishing
  • Begin by roasting or boiling the sweet potato until just tender. Set aside until cool enough to peel and chop into 1 to 2-inch pieces.

  • Thoroughly rinse the toor dal and chana dal and soak in enough water to cover for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot or onion and stir for 5 minutes until softened. Toss in the garlic, ginger and chilies, and continue to stir for another 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add the cumin seeds, curry powder, chili powder and asafetida if using. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the cooked sweet potato, toor dal and chana dal, red pepper, and apricots, and pour in 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the dals are soft.

  • Stir in the coconut milk and salt and pepper, and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add up to 1 cup more water to achieve your desired consistency.

  • Remove from heat and partially purée the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a countertop blender.

  • Taste for seasoning and serve hot or warm, garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
toor dal soup with dried apricots and coconut milk

Other delightful dishes featuring apricots:
Lentil Soup with Prunes and Apricots
Apricot Rum Fritters
Sweet Potato and Apricot Croquettes
Anooshavoor (Turkish Barley and Apricot Porridge)

On the top of the reading stack: Affliction by Russell Banks

Audio Accompaniment: doozers digging up the street a scant block away


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

We are having dal tonight, but a thicker one with toasted pitta bread. Oh how I love dal. Yours looks really, really yummy!

janet @ the taste space said...

Oh yum! I love your rendition of the dal, Lisa. I have to find me some toor dal here, methinks. :)

Jenny said...

Sounds really amazing. I absolutely love sweet and spicy dishes. Glad to hear that it can cool you down too because been very hot this week!!

Nico @ yumsome said...

This looks smashing!

Dried apricots are a bit of a rarity here but we have an abundance of dried figs - I suspect they'd work just as well. Definitely going to experiment, and see!