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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 Dinner, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


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


  • 1 cup Toor dal / Kandi Pappu / Yellow Lentils
  • 3 tablespoons  Tamarind puree
  • 2 Onions (medium size)
  • 2 Tomatoes (medium size)
  • 4 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
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander (chopped) – 2 tablespoons
  •  Water – enough to cook and boil
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Ingredients for Tempering (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds / Aavaalu
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds / Jeera
  • half of ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida / Hing / Inguva


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 everything to the vessel. Pour water into the vessel up to a level that the dal/lentils or just 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,garnish with chopped coriander. Done!!


  • 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!!


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