• Serves

    serves 4-6


The Indian antecedent to my favorite soup, mulligatawny, likely was a thin, spicy lentil broth. The British thickened it, added meat, but, thankfully, kept the glorious Indian spices. —Madhur Jaffrey, author of Curry Nation (Ebury, 2012) Note: To make this dish vegan, substitute coconut oil for the butter and top with silken tofu blended with a bit of lemon juice and salt, instead of yogurt.


  • 9 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • 12 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 12 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 12 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol
  • 1 plum tomato, minced
  • 3 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 12 jalapeño, minced
  • 14 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 9 chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 34 cups red lentils
  • 3 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 14 fresh lemon, juiced, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Plain yogurt, to garnish


Step 1

Cook 5 tbsp. butter, Aleppo, cumin, coriander, mustard, chiles, and tomato in an 8" skillet over high heat until fragrant; set sauce aside. Heat remaining butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, onion, and jalapeño; cook until browned, 15 minutes. Add flour, coriander, cumin, and turmeric; cook until smooth, 2 minutes. Add stock and lentils; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until tender, 45 minutes. Add cilantro; purée. Add coconut milk, juice, salt, and pepper; divide among bowls. Garnish with sauce and yogurt.

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