• 500g red lentils – rinsed in water
  • 2-4 tablespoons cumin
  • 2-4 tablespoon salt – to taste
  • 2 tablespoon black ground pepper – to taste
  • 2-4 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1-2 lime – juiced
  • 2-4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 100ml oil for frying



  1.  Place the rinsed red lentils in a large pot. Add boiling water to cover the lentils by approx. 2 inches and bring to the boil.
  1. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover for 30-40min. Occasionally stir the base of the pan to stop the lentils sticking there.
  1. The lentils should change colour from orange to yellow when fully cooked. Carefully hand blend until smooth then season with ground cumin, salt and black pepper. If the consistency of the soup is too thick, add more boiling water.
  2. Fry crushed garlic cloves in 100ml of hot oil and stir gently while the garlic sizzles and begins to golden. Pour the whole mixture directly into the soup and mix in evenly. This flavouring technique is known as a gadha.
  1. Squeeze half a lime into the soup and stir then serve with a lime squeeze and bread.




  • Chop a whole onion and cook in oil until soft and golden before adding the soaked lentils and water for more flavour
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger added to soup before blending gives the soup more heat.
  • Dry harrisa spice mix can be used to season the soup
  • Chili flakes or chopped fresh chilies can be used instead of powder
  • The fiber from the lentils can be sieved out after the lentils are cooked to make a light watery soup or left in for a thicker, more filling soup. To keep the fiber in, hand blend the lentils after cooking making a more filling soup. To sieve out, place some of the cooked lentils in a sieve and press against the lentils to push through the lentils and leave behind the dry fibre which can be discarded.



  • Bear in mind that the more water added to the lentils, the thinner the final soup will become. Leave at least a couple of inches of water above the uncooked lentils for soup to ensure the correct final consistency.