Energy-dense, high-sugar, high-calorie foods have an instant kick that satiates our taste buds and is mostly associated with parties or celebrations. Comfort foods on the other hand hold their ground strong, they are soothing and are often associated with nostalgic or sentimental values. Comfort foods are like classic movies, timeless, and never out of fashion. Daal or lentil soup is one of such comfort food which you can never get enough of. Lentils are a staple in any Indian household, we have myriad ways of cooking our lentils. Our kitchens are stocked with an arsenal of different types of lentils. We will talk about that some other time. Today I will share with you one of my favorite daal recipes from Tibet.


Tibetan Daal, is an extremely popular and very simple lentil soup from Tibet. It is probably one of those foods that they enjoy in the privacy of their homes. This soulful lentil soup is warm and comforting, just like the people from the hills. After a hectic day at work, when you crave something warm and homely, this could be your life-saver. It can be prepared in a mere half-an-hour and does not require any over the top ingredients, surely, one of the faster dinners you can put on the table.


Before we move on with the recipe, let me help you find answers to some common questions associated with incorporating lentils in your diet.

Why is lentil good for us?

Lentils comprise of complex carbohydrates, and they have a rich fiber content. On the other hand, they are low in fat and calories. Their high protein content makes them a perfect option for people on weight-loss diet. When taken in combination with a whole grain, like brown rice or quinoa they can give us the same amount of protein as meat.

Are lentils keto friendly?

Well, the answer is yes and no. We know that normally vegetables that grow above ground are considered to be keto friendly options because they contain low carbs. Lentils are an exception because they grow above ground but they have a high carbohydrate content. So, if you are on a keto diet, that recommends below 20 grams of carbs a day avoid eating them. However, if your diet is not so stringent in terms of carb content, you can certainly go for them in moderation.

Can I use any one type of lentil in this soup?

This recipe is pretty basic, so yes you can use any one type of lentil or a combination of lentils for making this. In India, we have a lentil mix of 5 different types of lentils called Panchmel daal, that too can be used with the same recipe.

Can I make Tibetan Daal in Instant pot?

Yes, you can make this recipe in Instant pot. You do not need to pre-cook the daal if making this way. Here is waht you need to do:
  • Add some oil to the pot and temper with whole spices.
  • Saute the onion, garlic and ginger.
  • Add the spices and seasonings.
  • Add the washed daal and enough water to cover it completely.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 6-8 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally, open the lid and add ghee. Garnish as usual and your daal is ready.


You can serve the Tibetan daal with rice, rotis, and parnathas. I enjoy it with my bowl of rice with spicy Palak Pakora on the side.

Tibetan Daal

Tibetan Daal

Yield: 4
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 20 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 30 M
Warm and hearty lentil soup that makes for a quick satisfying dinner


  • 3/4 cup red lentil (masur dal)
  • 1/4 cup petite yellow lentil (moong dal)
  • 1 big red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3-4 chopped green onion
  • a bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 green chilies chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp salted butter for garnishing


  1. Soak the lentils in water for 20 mins.
  2. Boil the soaked lentils in 3 cups of water with a pinch of salt and turmeric, till the lentil is soft. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and temper with the whole cumin and fenugreek seeds.
  4. When it starts spluttering, add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Add salt and turmeric and keep frying till onion turns translucent.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chilies. Continue to stir.
  6. Add the dry spices and a little splash of water to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the chopped green onion and sugar.
  8. Add the boiled lentil, give everything a good mix, and allow to simmer on medium-flame for a couple of minutes.
  9. Finally, add the chopped cilantro and adjust seasoning.
  10. Add the ghee and turn off the flame.
  11. Garnish with whole green chili and butter.


  • Adjust the consistency of the soup as per your preference.
  • You can use only red lentil for this recipe if you do not have or do not prefer yellow lentil.
  • This is best served hot.

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The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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