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Chitra Agrawal
Course Vegetarian Main
Servings 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of asafetida hing
  • 1/2 red onion sliced in half circles
  • 1 beet peeled & diced
  • 2 teaspoons rasam powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • parsley or cilantro leaves chopped
  • salt to taste


  • Wash lentils thoroughly, using a fine-meshed colander.
  • Add lentils to a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stay by the stove monitoring the foaming as your pot could quickly boil over if you are not watching. Skim off foam. Mix in turmeric powder. Turn the flame to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Mix in salt to taste and optionally mash down cooked lentils with a spoon.
  • While lentils are cooking, heat sunflower oil in a saucepan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add in cumin seeds and asafetida. When the cumin seeds turn a darker shade of brown, add in cut onions. Stir fry until translucent. Add in diced beets and salt. Stir-fry the beets for 30 seconds. Next, add enough water to cover the beets by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer beets until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the cooked lentils to the cooked beets. Add 1-2 cups of water and rasam powder. The consistency should be a thin soup with the lentils on the bottom. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice to taste. Add more salt to taste and mix in parsley or cilantro leaves.
  • Serve plain or over rice with yogurt and hot pickle.