Do you ever read over a recipe and you say to yourself, there is no way that this can possibly taste good, but for some reason you just have to try it for yourself?
Yea, story of my life.
That is how the Green Monster happened, after all. [If you are curious to read ‘The story of the Green Monster’, see my post here.]
Anyways, I did not expect this Broccoli Dal would taste as good as it does. I came across this recipe in my Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook and I thought to myself, ‘How in the world could a broccoli soup taste good?’
I guess I still have broccoli issues that stem back to my childhood…
So of course, I made the soup. I’m really not afraid of Green things anymore.
Well, except Swiss Chard.
I’ve tried cooking chard many different ways and I still don’t ever see myself enjoying it. I’m still bitter over how many times we found Swiss Chard in our CSA box over the summer. If you ever find yourself in desperation to use up Swiss Chard that is stinking up your fridge, do not attempt to put Swiss Chard into a Green Monster. That’s all I’m going to say.
I still have nightmares of dirty gym socks.
Thankfully this soup is nothing like dirty gym socks. I was drawn to this soup because it has awesome cold-busting ingredients 1) Greens, 2) Indian spices. It will also clear your sinuses and flush out your body. Just trust me on this one!
Besides that, it tastes incredible.
The first time I made it, I followed the recipe to a tee and I loved it. The second time I made it, I had some new ideas and I changed some things around. I actually love it both ways. Today, I will share with you the adapted version…just have a tissue box ready when you eat it!
Energizing Broccoli Dal
5 cups (1250 mL)
This unique spin on dal packs in a ton of green broccoli power! You'll feel energized by this light, and incredibly flavourful dish. This recipe is inspired by the Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook by Lauren Ulm.
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 to 5 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (from 1 large head)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
- 1 cup uncooked red lentils
- Fine sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala spice mix (I love Arvinda's brand)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (22 to 30 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste
- Paprika, to garnish
- Naan bread, for serving
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Add the oil into a large saucepan and increase the heat to low-medium so the oil can preheat.
- Add the broccoli into a food processor and process until very finely chopped (about the size of rice grains).
- Add the cumin and mustard seeds into the saucepan with the oil. The seeds should sizzle and begin popping in the oil right away. As soon as the seeds start to pop, cover the saucepan immediately with a lid, and remove the saucepan from the heat source. Let sit until the seeds stop popping, then remove the lid and stir.
- Stir in the onion, and place the saucepan back over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until the onion softens.
- Now, add the finely chopped broccoli, broth, entire can of coconut milk, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garam masala, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a low bowl. Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Now remove the lid and stir, and continue simmering, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, until the lentils soften and the mixture thickens. Stir every now and then to make sure it doesn't stick.
- Stir in the lemon juice to taste.
- Ladle the dal into bowls and serve with naan bread or pita bread. Garnish with paprika and a lemon wedge, if desired.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Add oil to a large saucepan over low-medium heat and add in the uncooked red lentils, chopped sweet onion, ground cumin, and mustard seeds.
Cook on low-medium heat for about 6-9 minutes until the mustard seeds start popping a bit and the onion is tender.
Be careful because the mustard seeds will POP!! One hit me in the eye! It was quite hilarious, but only after I realized that I would not go blind like I thought.
Now prep the broccoli. I shaved some stems and also used the florets. Roughly chop the broccoli to make about 4.5 cups packed.
Now add the chopped broccoli into a food processor and process until very fine.
Add in the vegetable broth and broccoli into the saucepan.
Stir well. Cook this mixture, covered if preferred, for about 20 minutes over low-medium heat, checking it often. Add kosher salt to taste.
I added a bit of water as the soup got thick while cooking.
After 20 minutes, add in the milk, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, red pepper flakes, and additional salt (to taste) if necessary.
Heat on low until the lentils are cooked through, about 7-10 more minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve with paprika and lemon wedges.
Prepare yourself for a spicy, incredibly delicious, creamy Broccoli soup with an Indian flare. Despite what I anticipated, the soup does not have a strong ‘broccoli’ taste at all. It is very mild and barely detectable.
Just have a tissue handy because this soup will flush out your system! I think it was the first time in a week that Eric could breathe through both nostrils…
well, i love broccoli and red lentils so this looks like a recipe for me!
Angela, I wanted to tell you that i’m awarding you the one lovely blog award over at sweet rolls that rock. I just loved your take on the pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls you did a few months back. such lovely ideas. http://sweet-rolls-that-rock.blogspot.com/2011/01/one-lovely-blog-award.html
also, i just like a lot of the stuff you post on here. i follow you all the time – in my google reader, therefore, you may not see all my likes and stars. but i wanted to comment here and let you know today – your blog is appreciated ;)
Oh your 1st line about recipes that you think just cant sound good…yea, most of what i read in the sphere sounds meh? at best. Shhh, don’t tell anyone :)
I love your dal!!! First, b/c it uses NO CURRY and NO GARLIC…I am just not a fan. I know, crazy, huh. Omg that is just amazing you cooked this without them… thank you :) And i do LOVE garam masala. I dig that!
And just yesterday i posted about ethnic cuisine and things i wanted to make more of at home…indian food, sans curry and garlic was the 1st thing on my list! you are a mindreader :)
YUM! My irish Godmother makes broccoli soup, but I’ve never had a version with lentils!
I can’t believe you don’t like swiss chard! It’s my favorite….oh well, your broccoli dahl is so beautiful, I’ll forgive you ;)
Isn’t chard a Southern (US) staple? I guessing most sautee it with oil and bacon… but maybe you have a chemical sensitivity to the smell of chard. I have similiar sensitivities to some herbs…
You’ve been making and sharing the BEST recipes lately. I need something to ‘flush’ my system and i’ll definitely be making this tonight!!!
I love spicy soups and broccoli! The more your nose runs the better :) I will need to try this because my mom and I have been searching for a vegan broccoli soup for a while. Thanks for the recipe!
I love broccoli, and recently, I fell in love with lentils. I bet this is awesome!
I love broccoli, and I love lentils, so I suspect this dish cold be a winner in our house!!!
I could have warned you about those pesky mustard seeds, I am still cleaning some out of my carpet from last night!
Swiss Chard is the best! I buy the red stalked one, I find it a bit sweeter. I cut off the stalks chop them into pieces and saute them with eggplant, garlic and onion. Then I chop up the leaves and cook it all down with a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, and spice it up with lots of italian spices. ITs delicious!
That’s so funny – I made vegan Indian food for dinner last night, including a delicious dal! (Mine didn’t have broccoli in it, but the curry I made did.) The rice is in the cooker right now so we can have leftovers for dinner tonight. :)
Fantastic Recipe…as usual.
Perfect this time of year too!
I wasn’t too hungry until NOW! :) Looks yummy!
I love love indian food – espeically dal. I’ve never had it with broccolli, but why not?
Mmmm this looks great! I am a HUGE veggie fan and really do love broccoli now. Like you I didn’t enjoy it so much as a wee one ;)
I could definitely use some spicy Indian food in my life! Great job :)
I’ve been craving some good broccoli soup. I am going to try making something similar to this soon–maybe with quinoa instead?
The perfect winter time recipe to keep me warm in Colorado!
I love how spicy foods totally clear out your sinuses. Wasabi is great for that!
Looks yummy and healthy! I love anything that can help prevent a cold :)
You’ve mentioned several times recently that you didn’t use to eat vegetables at all- you had a total aversion to them. And now you love them and put them in everything! I’m still stuck in the former stage. Would you consider doing a post about how you overcame The Fear of All Things Green (or Other Vegetable Colors)? Maybe with a few starter recipes that won’t scare those of use still dealing with The Fear?
I love trying things that look not-so-good and then finding out they are oh-so-tasty!
Looks really good! I like broccoli and this one will definitely go on my Must Try list!
I make an Indian-style curry combining broccoli and cabbage and a gravy that you might like. Recipe source is
Can you believe I actually have all the ingredients for this in my kitchen RIGHT NOW?!? I do! I swear! Look out family, we are having soup tomorrow night.
Broccoli is one of my favourite veggies, so this sounds GREAT!!!!
I so adore your healthy vegan main dishes… and yet when I make it to the kitchen, I always seem to end up making your desserts. Why is that? :P
I think this recipe might change your thoughts on Swiss Chard – seriously! It’s called Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Soup with White Beans and Swiss Chard. It’s simple, seasonal, healthy, and delicious.
I totally made this tonight and substituted cauliflower for broccoli because that’s what I had on hand. Delicious….and amazingly spicy :) Thanks for the dish!
So excited to make this!!! I love when you do Indian recipes!!
It’s so funny to me that you don’t like swiss chard because I love it it sauteed in a little bit of oil with sea salt. Many times this summer my grocery store didn’t have it, and I would have loved to have taken yours off your hands!
Sadly I don’t really like Indian flavors, but this soup looks beautiful!
Re: Chard…that’s why having a bunny rabbit is awesome; she loves chard and gobbles it up for me. I don’t mind it myself though, but she eats it more than I do.
I loooove broccoli. I have a recipe for a curried lentil soup that I love too, but it is a spinach curried lentil soup. You know, I bet you could put your chard in this and it would work well!
have you ever tried chard with onions, garlic & coconut cream?
Haha naw, If i think to myself a recipe sounds gross/off/odd, there’s a very small change I’ll try it ;)
I love indian food such as Dal! I juice broccoli a lot so soup is an easy option for me. The thing about spicey food is it certainly warms you up in this cold weather so Im definitly giving it a go
What a brilliant idea!
question: if you cook it in so it becomes like a dahl stew, will that work?
i’ve got some Naan breads and been trying to think of something to have with them…
being as you are a keen indian-cooking enthusiast i’d love to reccomend trying Saag-dishes. spinach with varius additions
Palak Paneer is a fave of mine (the cheese can be exchanged for chickpeas, tofu or potatoes.)
250 grams paneer (Indian cheese,tofu, chickpeas)
2 bunches of palak
3 medium sized onions (finely chopped)
2 medium size tomatoes (finely chopped) OR tomato puree as per convenience
2 green chillies (slit into half)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ ginger paste
½ garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chana masala
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Cream for garnish (coconutcream or soy natural yoghurt works really well too)
1. Cook the palak (spinach) for about 5 minutes in boiling water and chop it to “forksize bites” after it is cold.
2. Cut the paneer into small cubes and deep fry in oil till light golden brown
3. Heat the oil in a Kadhai/non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds. Wait till it crackles and ensure that it does not burn. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and sauté till the onions are golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for another minute. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and the chana masala powder and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes/tomato puree and stir till the oil separates.
4. Add the palak paste to this mixture along with 1 cup water.(Tip: You can use the water used for cooking the spinach)
5. Add the paneer, garam masala, sugar and salt and cook till you start to see the gravy bubbling. If the gravy seems a bit dry, you can add some more water.
4. Garnish with some cream in the end
It will be a pleasure following you!
This looks crazy delicious and great for blocked sinuses…BONUS! :)
that looks great! :)
oh and i was wondering… how did u start ur blog? did u use wordpress / blogger or? because i really want to start one but all the ones that are domain requires to pay :/
Love broccoli, so I will be sure to try this — thanks!
Weight Watchers has a vegetable soup that uses Swiss Chard — the ONLY place I’ve found I like it. Otherwise, it’s really unappealing…
I think it looks incredible! Broccoli? Check. Indian food? Double check. There is no way to lose!
I need to get some tumeric and cumin! I am missing out on so many great recipes. I have the garam masala and use it on everything including popcorn ha
I’ve been craving dal for days.. and now I have to make it!! Thanks for posting this. Yum!
I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hates Swiss Chard. No matter what I do it always just tastes bitter and gross, but people keep telling me how much they love it. I gave up, so now I just sub in spinch if I see it in a recipe.
Your photographs and meals are looking better and better–truly professional quality. What an inspiration you are to all of your readers–as someone following her dream, making it work while coloring outside the lines, and finding balance. Kudos to you!
I’ve been eyeing that Broccoli Dal recipe in Vegan Yum Yum for a while now, but I have yet to make it! I guess I need to get of my lazy butt and make it. I think I’ll try the book’s version and then maybe yours. They both sound fantastic! Since I rather quite like broccoli in soups.
Great post thanks for sharing. I really enjoy your blog very much. Excellent content!
I love broccoli soup! And lentils. And Indian food. :)
me too…im craving it NOW!
It looks really good, but then again I love all things broccoli.
I just made this – it’s on my stove right now. It’s delicious I couldn’t wait to sneak a taste. Love your blog. You are an inspiration.
Wow this sounds delicious! I’ve never made (or even had) dal before but I have most of these ingredients. On my next trip to the health food store I’ll have to get some lentils and give this a shot!
On another note, I made your pumpkin butter recipe for myself and for my brother for Christmas. It is amazing. Yum!