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Pappu Pulusu / Indian Spicy Lentil Soup

South Indian style, Plant Based, Protein Rich Lentil Soup made with very few ingredients. Given step wise pics for both methods of Stove Top or INSTANT POT Electric Pressure Cooker.

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:3 mins   CookTime:Given Below   Cuisine:Indian


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Pappu Pulusu / Toor Dal Gravy or translated as Indian Spicy Lentil Soup can be said as one of the foods of common man in India. It’s because of the basic and minimal ingredients used for this recipe. And , this recipe is also inherited from my dear Mum and its my Father’s favourite too.

I remember those days, when the vegetables at home were just very few, and my Mum used to make this delicious dish with appadalu / poppadams. I feel so satisfied that I could make the exact replica (even in the taste) of my Mother’s recipe.

This is my go to recipe, especially for weekday dinners. And my kids love them with homemade papads / poppadums.

Possible alterations you could make for, ‘ Pappu Pulusu / Indian Spicy Lentil Soup’

  • Instead of tamarind puree that I have used, just add double the count of tomatoes mentioned.
  • Split Pigeon peas / toor dal, can be replaced with red lentils / masoor dal, chana dal / split peas.
  • You might add, any other vegetablles like, carrots, green peas, pumpkin, butternut squash, green squash, zucchini, potatoes. But just a handfulof each.
  • For additional flavour, adding a teaspoon of South Indian curry powder would suffice.
  • Among the ‘Ingredients for tempering’, you can skip the Asafoetida / Hing / Inguva, and can add 3-4 garlic cloves.

How to serve, ‘Pappu Pulusu / Indian Spicy Lentil Soup’:

You can have it just as a soup or pair it up with any rice or quinoa too. Or even as an accompaniment with South Indian Breakfast items like Idli, Dosa, Uthappam. 

This lentils soup is a perfectly Vegan,Gluten free,Oil free (if you can avoid the tempering) , One pot meal/soup recipe without adding any extras.

You can make it in a pressure cooker / instant pot / crock pot / stove top too. Just try , you would surely love it in any way you eat ! 

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned in the end.

Other soup recipes here⇒ Salads & Soups

My salad recipes collection here⇒  Salads & Soups

Starter / Appetiser recipes collection here⇒  Starters / Snacks

Related posts:

  1. Tomato Dal / Lentil Stew / Tomato Pappu 
  2. GreenCucumber-LentilStew / ToorDal / KeeraDosakaya Pappu
  3. Broccoli-Squash Lentil Stew / Broccoli-Sorakaya Pappu/ Broccoli-Tinda Dal

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Ingredients:

  • Toor dal / Kandi Pappu / Yellow Lentils – 1 cup
  • Tamarind puree – 3 tablespoons 
  • Onions – 2 (medium size)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (medium size)
  • Green Chillies – 4
  • Rice flour or Chickpea flour – 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1½ teaspoons
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar or Jaggery – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Fresh Coriander (chopped) – 2 tablespoons 
  • Water – as required (to cook and boil)

Ingredients For Tempering: (optional)

  • Cooking Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard Seeds / Aavaalu – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds / Jeera – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida / Hing / Inguva – ¼ teaspoon
  • Fresh Garlic – 3 cloves (optional)

Special Ingredients:

  • Red Chilli Powder 
  • Tamarind

Step wise pics Procedure for ‘Pappu pulusu / indian spicy lentil soup’:

PREP WORK (common for both methods):

  • Firstly, take the pappu/dal/lentils into a vessel and wash them twice thoroughly.
    Toor Dal/Yellow Lentils taken into vessel
  • Now, cut the tomatoes and onions cube sized and slit the green chillies length wise.

STOVE-TOP METHOD (time:15 mins)

  • Add all the chopped veggies to the vessel.
  • Pour twice the amount of water into the vessel, that the lentils & veggies are dipped.
    Tomatoes,Onions and Green Chillies added to the dal/lentils
  • Put the vessel on medium flame of stove, cover with lid, let it cook for 10-15 mins. After which, check if the dal is cooked or not, by pressing a lentil against 2 fingers.
  • If you are using, stove-top pressure cooker, put the lid and whistle on, cook it up to 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release.
  • Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder.
    Salt, Red Chilli Powder and turmeric powder added
  • Then, add the tamarind puree, sugar, 1½ cups of water,tablespoon of coriander and ginger-garlic paste (optional).
    Tamarind puree, sugar and water added
  • Mix everything, let it boil for 3-4 mins, under medium flame.
    Bringing to boil under medium flame to thicken
  • At this stage, add the rice flour or chick pea flour to thicken faster.
  • When it thickens, switch off the flame, garnish with chopped coriander. Done!!
  • If you wish to do the tempering, take all the ‘Ingredients for tempering’ into a small pan onto the stove top, and fry them until the mustard start to splutter splatter and switch off the stove.
    After the tempering is transferred to the vessel
  • Just like the above pic,transfer this tempering into the vessel and mix gently. Done!!

INSTANT POT / ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER METHOD (time:8 mins)

  • Transfer washed lentils, diced onions and tomatoes, slit green chillies to the IP vessel.
  • Pour water up to a level that everything is just dipped.
  • Add the tamarind puree / pulp / dry tamarind also. Let it dip.
  • Switch the Instant Pot ON, set it to Pressure Cook Mode, under high pressure, for 6 mins with valve closed.
  • Release the pressure either manually (QPR) or let it release naturally (NPR). Anything is fine.
  • Remove the lid, turn on the IP, set to Saute Mode, under high pressure, for 2 mins.
  • Add ½ cup of water, sugar, salt, red chilli powder / cayenne powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste (optional).
  • Let the soup boil, add the rice flour or chick pea flour to thicken.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Done!!
  • If you wish to do the tempering, take all the ‘Ingredients for tempering’ into a small pan onto the stove top, and saute them.
  • Transfer this tempering into the vessel and mix gently. Done!!

Tips:

  • Adjust the spice and salt according to your taste.
  • I have used de-seeded dry tamarind, you can even use readily available tamarind puree / pulp available in any Indian store.
  • You can skip the tempering part, which doesn’t change the taste of the soup anyhow.
  • For the instant pot electric pressure method, the cook time remains the same even if you cook the soup with 3 times of dal.
  • This, pappu pulusu / Indian spicy lentil soup, can be stored in fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Just re-heat before serving, there is no need to thaw.

Result:

  • The taste of this, pappu pulusu / Indian spicy lentil soup, is spicy and tangy too. But the texture is thick because of the lentils.
  • Perfectly suitable especially for cold winters, & to satisfy taste buds craving for spice.
  • You can have just as a soup or can have it along with any rice or quinoa or bread.
    Pappu pulusu / indian spicy lentil soup.One pot, quick, easy, on stove top.INSTANT POT pressure cooker. food for relief with fever or cold.
    Bowl Of Indian spicy lentil soup garnished with fresh coriander leaves

    Pappu pulusu / indian spicy lentil soup.One pot, quick, easy, on stove top.INSTANT POT pressure cooker. food for relief with fever or cold.
    Bowl of Indian Spicy Lentil Soup served with rice and poppadams, smeared with homemade ghee/neyyi.

Ingredients, Accessories on ‘AMAZON’ to ‘SHOP’:

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Indian Spicy Lentil Soup / Pappu Pulusu (Vegan, GF)

VegCookBook by Praveena
South Indian style One-pot, quick, easy, few ingredients soup made on Stove Top or INSTANT POT. Protein Rich side dish or family dinner option. Even suitable while suffering with fever or cold.
Prep Time 3 mins
Course Accompaniment, Dinner, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Sauce Pan / Vessel (for stove-top method)
  • Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker (for IP method)
  • Small Frying pan (for tempering)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Toor dal / Kandi Pappu / Yellow Lentils
  • 3 tablespoons  Tamarind puree
  • 2 count Onions (medium size)
  • 2 count Tomatoes (medium size)
  • 4 count Green Chillies (small size)
  • 1 tablespoon Rice flour or Chickpea flour (optional)
  • teaspoons Red Chilli Powder / Cayene Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar or Jaggery
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder / Pasupu
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Coriander Leaves (chopped)
  • as required  Water (to cook and boil)

Ingredients for Tempering (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 3 cloves Fresh Garlic (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds / Aavaalu
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds / Jeera
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida / Hing / Inguva

Instructions
 

PREP WORK (common for both methods):

  • Firstly, take the dal / lentils into a vessel and wash them twice thoroughly.
    Now, cut the tomatoes and onions cube sized and slit the green chillies length wise.

STOVE-TOP METHOD(time:15 mins)

  • Add all the chopped veggies to the vessel.
    Pour twice the amount of water into the vessel, that the lentils & veggies are dipped.
  • Put the vessel on medium flame of stove, cover with lid, let it cook for 10 mins.
    After which, check if the dal is cooked or not, by pressing a lentil against 2 fingers.
  • If you are using, stove-top pressure cooker, put the lid and whistle on, cook it up to 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release.
  • Add the red chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, tamarind puree, sugar,1½ cups of water, tablespoon of coriander, ginger-garlic paste (optional).
    Mix everything, & let it boil on stove under medium flame.
  • Add rice flour or chick pea flour to thicken.
    Switch off and garnish with chopped fresh coriander. Done!!

INSTANT POT METHOD(time:8 mins)

  • Transfer washed lentils, diced onions and tomatoes, slit green chillies, tamarind puree / pulp / dry tamarind to the IP vessel.
  • Pour water up to a level that everything is just dipped.
    Switch the Instant Pot ON, set it to Pressure Cook Mode, under high pressure, for 6 mins with valve closed.
  • Release the pressure either manually (NPR) or let it release naturally (NPR). Anything is fine.
    Remove the lid, turn on the IP, set to Saute Mode, under high pressure, for 2 mins
  • Add 1½ cup of water, sugar, salt, red chilli powder / cayenne powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste (optional).
    Let the soup boil, add the rice flour or chick pea flour to thicken. Garnish with chopped coriander. Done!!
  • If you wish to do the tempering
    take all the ‘Ingredients for tempering’ into a small pan onto the stove top, and saute them.
    Transfer this tempering into the vessel and mix gently. Done!!

Notes

Please see the MAIN POST for recipe with step wise pics & tips!!
Keyword family dinner recipe, Indian lentil soup, lentil soup, soup with Indian spices, spicy soup

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