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Pigeon Pea Soup with Opo Squash

This thick and wonderfully flavored soup is derived from my mom's dal recipe with Lauki (opo squash/bottle gourd). You can substitute pigeon pea with other split lentils or grams and the squash with other mild flavored quick cooking squash.

This warm fall soup can be served with some crusty bread or poppy seed rolls, or as a side in an Indian meal with flat bread(roti), pickles and a dry veggie preparation (subzi). Opo Squash/Calabash/bottle gourd/Long melon/Lauki/Doodhi is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. For this reason, the calabash is widely known as the bottle gourd.

This pigeon pea soup is very versatile and fits in well with any spread. Try it and make it your own. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Pigeon Pea Soup with Opo Squash

This Recipe is :

High ProteinVegan




  • 3/4 cup split Toor daal(split and skinless pigeon pea. Can be substituted with Chana daal/bengal gram or Mung daal(skinless green gram))
  • 2 cups opo squash/lauki cubed (found in indian stores or asian supermarkets, can be substituted with a different mild flavored squash)
  • 2.5-3 cups water


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds(Raee)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds(Kalonji seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds(Jeera)
  • pinch of asofetida (hing, optional)
  • curry leaves (you can find these fresh or frozen in any Indian store. If you dont have these, substitute with one bay leaf.)
  • 1/2 Serrano chili pepper or chili flakes to taste
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Soak the lentils in warm water for an hour to overnight.
  2. In a pressure cooker or pan, heat the oil on medium heat until hot on medium low heat.
  3. Add mustard(raee) seeds and after a few seconds of sputtering, add cumin(jeera) and nigella(Kalonji) seeds. Use a little garam masala or curry powder if you dont have all the spices.
  4. Add in the asofetida(hing) and curry leaves and mix.
  5. Add in the chili, turmeric, ginger and garlic and cook till garlic is golden brown.(1-2 minutes).
  6. Add in squash and rinsed soaked daal(pigeon pea), water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar. You can also add in 1 medium tomato chopped.
  7. Mix well. Cook for 2 full whistles in the pressure cooker or Cook covered  in pan for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. If cooking in pan, the lentils might not get mashed, you can mash them in the pot or blend a little. Taste and adjust salt and spices when still hot.
  8. Serve hot garnished with cilantro, chili flakes or cayenne, olive oil drizzle and lime wedges.


Beans - AllBeans - GreenBeans - MungBlack Eye / Pigeon PeaSquash




Richa Hingle is the prolific and award-winning recipe developer, blogger, and photographer behind Vegan Richa. She loves to show people how easy it is to cook vegan Indian or other cuisines. Her eBook on Indian Vegan Diwali Sweets was wildly successful in which she created vegan versions of Indian desserts that were previously deemed impossible. She lives in Seattle with her husband and a fluffy Pomeranian.



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