Pepper Lentil Broth

On a cold winter, I just can’t get enough of heart warming pepper-lentil broth or ‘menasina saaru’. Menasu means peppercorns in Kannada and that’s the hero of this dish. Simple, clean cooking at its best. Not only does it taste amazing, this broth helps clear up cold and cough that the winter brings with it! Absolute comfort food. Relish this instead of a soup during winter and I am sure there is no looking back!


pepper lentil broth



Toor dal (Pigeon pea lentil) – ½ cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Cumin – 1 tbsp
Peppercorns – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Curry leaves – 3-4
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Ghee – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – few drops


  1. Wash the tur dal and boil it with lots of water, turmeric and a few drops of oil until it’s tender
  2. In a frying pan, dry roast the cumin and peppercorns until it turns aromatic. Pound them in a mortar pestle until it is coarsely ground
  3. Once the lentil is completely boiled, blitz it slightly and add the cumin-peppercon mix and salt. Add water to adjust the consistency (usually it is similar to any clear soup or broth). Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, make the temper. Heat another frying pan and add ghee. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add curry leaves and asafoetida. Turn of the heat
  5. Add the tempering to the saaru and turn off the heat
  6. Squeeze in the lemon and serve piping hot


  • You can pressure cook the lentil to save time
  • Make sure you add the lemon juice just before serving