Recipe Index

Masala Potato Soup

Serves 4-6

Soothing and simple, this soup brings to mind my favorite South Indian inspired flavors of potatoes richly colored and seasoned with turmeric, spices and additional textures and nutrition with a touch of dahl (split, hulled peas or lentils). Depending on the dahl used, you’ll get different textures and may have to adjust the cooking time somewhat. A little virgin coconut oil adds buttery richness to this soothing soup that needs only freshly made roti, paratha or just a green salad to make into a complete meal.


For additional fiber and texture, you may leave the potatoes unpeeled, but be sure to scrub them like crazy to remove any grit or dirt from the skins. Be sure to also sort through the dahl to remove any grit, rinse and drain before adding to the pot.


Tip: Madras-style curry powder is recommended, but use any curry powder that floats your boat.


  • 2 lbs waxy yellow potatoes
  • 4 teaspoons virgin coconut or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 green Thai chiles or hot green chile pepper, finely minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked split pigeon peas (toovar dahl), yellow split peas, mung dahl or simliar split, peeled dahl
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 8-10 curry leaves, rolled and sliced into slivers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


1. Peel and remove any blemishes from the potatoes. Cut into 1 inch thick chunks and keep covered in cold water until ready to use.


2. In a large soup pot melt coconut oil over medium-high heat, stir in mustard seeds and fry until seeds just begin to pop. Stir in ginger, chiles, toovar dahl and onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and slightly translucent, anywhere from 6-8 minutes. Stir in curry leaves, curry powder and turmeric and fry for 1 minute, then pour in water. Increase heat to high and bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain potato chunks and add to the broth, increase the heat and bring to a boil again. Boil for 1 minute, decrease heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and dahl is tender or falling apart (depending on what kind of dahl used).


3. Reduce heat to low and carefully use a potato masher to mash the potatoes into a creamy, chunky soup. Season with salt and lime juice, stir and taste; adjust with additional salt and lime juice as desired. Turn off heat and stir in chopped cilantro and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes then serve.