Tuvar ni Dal/Dar (Gujarati Lentil Soup)

Today, I am going to share with you, the recipe for Gujarati Lentil Soup, otherwise known as Gujarati Tuvar Dal/Dar. 

(quantity in recipe will serve 4 people comfortably)

This soup is generally mixed in with rice and eaten together with a side vegetable to form a complete meal in terms of nutritional value. Tuvar is also known as split pigeon peas in English. It can be bought in your local, Indian, grocery store or even in the World Foods aisle of any big supermarket.

The Gujarati dal/dar (soup) is pretty easy to make and is served at most Gujarati wedding feasts as well as in the average daily diet.

Most Gujarati people would prefer this lentil soup a little sweet (as Gujaratis are famous for putting sugar in a lot of their cooking) however, as I dislike this practice, mainly because it spoils the natural taste of the main ingredient and of course, for health reasons, I am going to show you a tasty version without sugar.


For the lentil soup/tuvar dal:

800 mls cold water
4 big tbsps of tuvar dal
1 big pinch papad khar/sanchoro (can buy this at your local, Indian, grocery store)
0.5 medium sized onion (cubed)
8 big tbsps tomato juice (from a tin of tomatoes)
1 tbsp ginger (fresh and grated)
0.5 tbsp green chillies (fresh and ground)
1.5 tbsp salt
0.25 tsp turmeric powder
0.25 tsp red chilli powder
5 tbsps bottled lemon juice or fresh

For the tarka:

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 tsps cumin seeds
about 6 individual grains of whole, dried fenugreek seeds
1 pinch asafoetida
3 whole curry leaves (fresh or dried)


1. In a small pressure cooker, pour the 800 mls water.

2. Place on the hob and turn the heat onto a high heat.

3. Check the tuvar dal and get rid of any indecent looking ones which are sometimes accidentally mixed in with the high quality ones. There may also be small stones in the tuvar dal so pick those out as well.

4. Wash the tuvar dal in warm to hot water in a dish, rubbing them firmly between your hands to get rid of the oils that the product has been stored in. Wash the tuvar dal at least 3 times like this, each time discarding the dirty water and taking fresh water in the dish to wash them again. As you wash the tuvar dal properly in between your hands, in the water, each time you throw the water away, the water will become clearer. So, wash well until you see clear running water.

5. Put the tuvar dal along with the papad khar and cubed onion into the pressure cooker with the 800 mls water already heating in it.

6. Close the pressure cooker properly and let the contents cook at a high heat until 4 whistles have sounded.

7. Then, take the pressure cooker off the heat and let it cool down until all the pressure from the cooker is gone so that the pressure cooker can be opened safely.

NOTE: DO NOT open the pressure cooker while there is still pressure in there. This can be extremely dangerous as the contents will be boiling hot and not will it only come flying out of the top of the pressure cooker but it could potentially burn you too. Be VERY careful. There is nothing to worry about so long as the pressure has been released from the cooker!

8. Open the pressure cooker lid safely and carefully blend the soup with a food blender until smooth, still keeping the soup in the cooker.

9. Add in the tomato juice, ginger, green chillies, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and lemon and stir well into the soup. You can blend it in once more with a food blender.

10. In a small pot, or tarka pan, heat the oil until hot.

11. Add in the ingredients for the tarka in the order listed above. Once the seeds start popping, only then add in the asafoetida and then finally, the curry leaves.

12. Leave the tarka to cook for about a further 5 to 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and put the tarka straight into the pressure cooker full of soup. Pour a ladle of the soup into the small, tarka pot and swirl so as to clean out all of the tarka and pour it back into the pressure cooker.

13. Stir the soup well and return to the heat.

14. Heat the tuvar dal soup until piping hot.

15. This soup can be eaten mixed with rice or on its own or even with chapatis.

So there you have it, Gujarati tuvar ni dal or dar/lentil soup! Do try it out and let me know how yours turns out.

'Til next time ... enjoy!
Bon appétit! xx


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