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Red Lentil Soup

from Ayurveda Today, Volume 8, Number 3, Winter 1995

Serves 4 – 6 Although this soup is tridoshic, the light and dry quality may stimulate vata, so vata should not eat it more than twice a week. The spice in this recipe make the lentils okay for pitta. Sautéing the garlic helps to get rid of its gas-producing qualities. Masala powder is available at most spice stores or make your own with the recipe in Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha and Vasant Lad. Medicinal Uses: A good food to take during flu and diarrhea. Red lentils are a good source of iron, so are a good blood builder and liver cleanser. Doshic Notes Vata – Pitta – Kapha –


1 cup red lentils 5 cups water 2 tsp. safflower oil 1 tsp. cumin seeds 1 tsp. black mustard seeds 1 pinchhing 2 largecloves garlic, chopped 5 curry leaves, fresh or dried 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped 1/2 tsp. turmeric 1 tsp. masala powder 1/2 tsp. salt


Wash the beans twice and soak overnight in plenty of water. Drain. Add the beans and 4 cups of the water to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir beans occasionally to prevent sticking. Add 1 more cup of the water and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes or until beans are tender. Set aside. Heat the oil in a small pan or frying pan until medium hot, then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. In a moment, when the seeds pop, stir in the garlic and brown lightly. Add the curry leaves, cilantro, turmeric and masala powder. Mix quickly. Stir this spice mixture into the soup, then add the salt. Add some or all of the last cup of water, depending on the how thick you want the soup. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes and serve with rice and chapati or bread.  

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The spiritual journey starts here

Vasant Lad BAM&S, MASc

Vasant Lad BAM&S, MASc

A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune and a Master’s of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. The author of numerous books, Vasant Lad is respected throughout the world for his knowledge of Ayurveda.