Dill with Lentils – Shepu / Suva Dal

Delicious home cooked and simple comfort food is true bliss to most of us or as we say in Hindi, Maa ke haath ka khana and that one phrase seems to sum it all up! Personally cooked by Mom! I’m sure each one of us can relate to this, irrespective of which corner of the world we belong to.

A basic homely meal consisting of phulkas / rice, lightly sauteed veggies, and a simple ghee-tempered mushy dal are enough to send most Indians into raptures about how they travelled far & wide across many continents on work, trying all kinds of food but finally craved to return home to their comfort home food.

I guess this applies to all of us human beings, creatures of habit as we are, craving non-spicy simplicity after days of eating out. Perfectly light on the tummy and high on taste!

This is a very quick & light lentil preparation made with easily available lentils namely toor and masoor dal that are cooked with a highly flavourful nutty flavoured leafy green known as Dill, Suva in Hindi, Shepu in Marathi and Sabsige Soppu in Kannada. Here’s another awesome recipe for Dill & Chickpea Rice.

Do not miss out on the added ghee tempering on top, cause that will surely add a ton of flavour to your already-tasty dish.

Though fairly popular in the West in dips and sauces to flavour chicken and meat, in India, this leafy green with hair-like leaves is not really given its due.

Recipe for Dill with Lentils – Shepu / Suva Dal

Ingredients (Serves 4 persons)

  • ½ cup toor dal /pigeon pea lentil
  • ½ cup masoor dal / split pigeon pea lentil
  • 2 cups dill leaves, washed & chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee /oil for final tempering
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds /jeera seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing powder
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped (or ginger garlic paste 1 tsp)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, slit long
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder /haldi powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. To begin, wash and chop the dill leaves well and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, cook the two lentils along with 3 cups of water, ½ teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon oil until soft and mushy.
  3. As soon as the pressure drops, open the cooker & mash the dals well.
  4. In a deep saucepan / kadhai, heat 1 tablespoon oil & add mustard and cumin seeds. Allow it to crackle. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
  5. Once it crackles, add the chopped ginger, green chillies and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Now add the tomatoes & spices namely, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, dill leaves, pre-cooked toor dal and 2 cups of water.
  7. Cook for at least 4 to 5 minutes on a low flame & cover.
  8. Adjust salt at this stage and bring it to a boil for few minutes.
  9. Transfer the Dal to a serving bowl. Add in lemon juice & and an optional tempering of ghee over the top.
  10. To temper, in a small pan, heat 1 tbsp oil/ghee, on a low flame, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ¼ teaspoon turmeric & ¼ teaspoon chilli powder. Stir & switch off quickly. Pour over the top of your dal.
  11. Serve your piping hot Dal with phulkas, ghee and your favourite vegetable.

Making of Shepu / Suva Dal – Dill Lentil Curry

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