I come from a long line of vegetarians.  In fact, my grandparents are Jain vegetarian, so they don't eat anything that grows under the ground including garlic, potatoes, onions, radishes, carrots, etc.  Although I choose not to practice this form of vegetarianism, my heritage has shared with me some delicious jain-friendly recipes, including this one.  This is my dadi's (paternal grandmother) recipe.   So coming to you from a quaint little flat in Mumbai, I bring you grandma's lentil soup aka Urad-Toor Dal.  Its protein packed & perfect for cooler evenings.  Enjoy!



KITCHEN  DADI (grandmother)


  1. 3 medium tomatoes (blended)
  2. 1 c toor dal 
  3. 1/2 c urad dal
  4. 2 tbs olive/canola oil
  5. 2 tsp cumin seeds
  6. 12-15 curry fresh/frozen leaves
  7. 1/4 tsp asafetida 
  8. 2/3 c water
  9. 1 1/2 tsp adu marcha (see here)
  10. 1/2 tsp haldi (tumeric powder)
  11. 2 tsp red mirchi (or to taste)
  12. salt to taste
  13. 3 heaping tsp methi masala powder/shan achar pickle powder
  14. 2 heaping tsp dhana jeeru (cumin & corriander powder) 
  15. freshly chopped cilantro
  16. lemon juice to taste 


  1. wash both the toor & urad dal until water runs clear
  2. cook dals in pressure cooker with 2 cups of water for about 15-20 minutes (dals should be mashable by hand but not completely blended when done)  
  3. transfer to another pot and add the blended tomato
  4. in a separate container you will make your "tadka".  heat the oil over medium heat.  add the cumin seeds and toast for about 30 seconds.
  5. immediately add the curry leaves, asafetida, turmeric, cayenne/mirchi, methi masala/pickle seasoning, and pav bhaji masala.
  6. add this "tadka" mixture to your cooked dal.  add your dhana jeera, lemon juice & salt to taste.  
  7. stir & cook the dal over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  8. add some freshly chopped cilantro and serve over basmati/brown rice.