yellow lentil soup with dill, jalapenos, and yogurt

Chana dal (or Bengal gram as it is also known) consists of brown or black chickpeas that have been hulled and split. It is one of the earliest legume crops in human record! Cooking them down with moong dal (hulled and split mung beans) provides some textural contrast, making this lentil stew more interesting than its red lentil cousin, masoor dal. Topping the dal with salted lime yogurt cuts through the richness of the dal, while the dill and jalapēnos add a unique flavour and crunch. Although meat could easily be added to this dish, it is great without it and makes for a hearty weeknight vegetarian meal!

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Ready in45 min


  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled
  • 2 + 1 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili flakes or Kashmiri chili (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 jalapēno pepper, sliced into rounds



Rinse both types of lentils separately until water begins to run clear.


Add chana dal and 7 cups of water to large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 


Prepare your vegetables. Cut carrots, onions, and potatoes into bite sized pieces, chop garlic and dill. 


After the chana dal has been simmering for 10 minutes, add the moong dal, carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of dill and spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, then once again reduce to a simmer. 

Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly and adjusting heat so the stew doesn’t splatter or burn. Add water if the stew seems to be too thick to keep cooking.


Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, lime juice, and salt in a bowl. 

Prepare 1 tablespoon of chopped dill and the jalapēnos. 


After the 20 minutes has elapsed, taste the stew. If the lentils and vegetables are soft and to your liking, you can remove it from the heat. If you think it needs to be softer or thicker, continue to cook until you’re happy with it. If it needs more salt or heat, add more. This is where your own preferences come in!


Once the dal is done, ladle into bowls. Pool 1/4 cup of yogurt sauce in the middle of the dal and sprinkle with chopped jalapēnos and dill. Serve. 


You might also like: