Winters are all about healthy soups and eating tonnes of fresh veggies. All my recipes become veggie laden during winters be it my breakfast options like poha, vermicelli or upma or my lunch salad options or my dinner soup options. I like to add multiple veggies in my meals every day.

I recently read in a book called Ikigai (the Japanese secret to a long and healthy life) that Okinawans have the highest life expectancy in the world. All that is because of the following healthy habits they have:
1. They consume the highest variety of veggies and fruits in the world
(They eat at least 4 different fruits and 4 different veggies in a single day)
2.  Their average salt and sugar consumption are the lowest in the world
3.  They tend to walk after sitting in one place for 30 minutes
4. They consume high amounts of Vitamin C in terms of citrus fruits.

I strongly believe in this as well. Hence, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are traditional, simple, usually fuss-free but provide a lot of nutrition. One such amazing lentil is the KULTHI ki dal aka Horse gram lentil which is really healthy to consume in winters and aids in weight loss. Plus, it’s beneficial for multiple heart ailments, kidney stones, ulcers, jaundice and so on.

To make it a complete meal, I add a lot of veggies to it so that it becomes filling and gets all the needed vitamins, minerals and fiber. You could also eat this with rice or Chapatti because it tastes equally good which them. This style of preparation is inspired by the Garhwali community from Uttarakhand in India. They cook all the locally grown veggies with this dal and it tastes heavenly. This recipe is definitely a keeper, hope you try it.

Kulthi dal Horsegram lentil soup

COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 3 bowls


  1. Kulthi Dal/Horse gram Lentil – 1 cup
  2. Broccoli – a few florets
  3. Cauliflower – a few florets
  4. Raddish – 1, small
  5. Turnip – 1, small
  6. Beans – a handful
  7. Carrot – 1, small
  8. Tomatoes – 2, large
  9. Onion – 1, small
  10. Garlic greens – a few
  11. Garlic – 2 pods
  12. Ginger – a small piece
  13. Lemon – ½
  14. Green chilies – 2
  15. Coriander leaves – for garnish
  16. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  17. Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  18. Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
  19. Salt – to taste


  1. Pressure Cooker
  2. Pan
  3. Blender


1. Wash the lentil properly and keep it to rest for at least 30 minutes. This dal takes a long time to cook, so you can also keep it soaked for 5-6 hours, as I do sometimes. This helps it to cook faster.
2. Add the dal in a pressure cooker with 3-4 cups of water. Add turmeric powder and salt(half of it) to it.
3. Also, grate the ginger and add it to the dal. Slit two chilies and add them too. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and allow for one whistle on high heat. Then lower the heat and let the dal cook on simmer for another 20 minutes.
4. Take the dal off the heat and allow the steam to release.

Boiled Kulthi ki Dal Horsegram Lentil

5. In the meanwhile, take a non-stick pan and add some oil to it.
6. Once the oil is hot, add finely chopped onion and garlic to it.

Frying onions

7. Allow them to caramelize slightly for 3-4 minutes.
8. Dice all the veggies (except the tomatoes) into bite-size pieces and add them to the pan.
9. Add the remaining half amount of salt to the pan as it would allow the veggies to cook faster. Cover the pan with a lid and let the veggies simmer for 5-7 minutes.
10. Puree two large tomatoes in a blender and add them to the pan next. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes till they lose moisture and cook well.
11. Add some cumin powder to it.


12. Now add this veggie mix to the cooked dal and mix everything well.
13. Add the juice of half a lemon and adjust the acidity of the soup as per your taste.
14. Add fresh coriander leaves and serve while hot.

Kulthi Horsegram Soup