This Dal is the Healthiest Comfort Food You’ll Eat All Year

Learn from master meditation teacher Sally Kempton as she shares how her own struggle with her mind taught her how to ultimately become more focused, aware, and loving.

Golden Mung Dal Soup with Greens

“This dal is our comfort food and is considered tri-doshic in Ayurveda—meaning it’s calming to all three constitutions, or mind-body types. It’s especially beneficial in early spring because it’s warming—with ginger, cumin, and coriander—and it eases lingering winter sluggishness or mild illness with anti-inflammatory turmeric. Plus, the bitter greens and herbs are detoxifying and can help prepare your body for the upcoming shift in season.”

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (145 g) mung dal (split mung beans) without skin 

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ghee, divided 

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tbsp coriander seeds

½ tbsp cumin seeds

2/3 cup basmati rice (or 2–4 roti)

1 tsp sea salt or rock salt

2 cups baby spinach, baby kale, or thinly sliced kale or chard

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ginger root, finely shredded or minced 

½–1 tsp serrano pepper, seeded, minced (optional) 

2 tbsp cilantro or parsley, minced 

Preparation

1. Sort, rinse, and drain dal. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, bring mung dal, 1 tsp ghee, turmeric, and 6 cups water to a full boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low, cover tightly, and simmer until fully cooked and soft, 1 hour. Remove from heat. (For pressure cooking, combine ingredients and 5 ½ cups water in a 6-quart pressure cooker, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat; let the pressure drop on its own.) 

2. Meanwhile, slowly dry-roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a heavy iron-clad frying pan over medium-low heat until fragrant and slightly darker in color, 8 minutes. Remove, and coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle, kitchen mallet, or rolling pin.

3. Cook rice according to package directions (if using). 

4. Add roasted spices and salt to dal. Beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Add in the greens, and let wilt.

5. Heat remaining 1 tbsp ghee and oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and serrano (if using), and fry until ginger is golden, 1–2 minutes, then pour into soup. Cover immediately, and let seasonings soak into dal for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in cilantro or parsley, and serve with rice or roti. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 307
  • Carbohydrate Content: 44 g
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 6 g
  • Protein Content: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 4 g
  • Sodium Content: 612 mg