Bean Soup with Indian Spices

Last updated on 11-Mar-2021

Anytime there’s a chill in the air, I love steaming bowls of creamy soups and stews, and beans, peas and lentils are perfect ingredients for this kind of dish.

To create this recipe, I was inspired by a vegetarian Punjabi bean curry soup/stew called Dal Makhani, which I often order when we go to Indian restaurants, and it seems to taste a little different every time I have it, with some flavours being more subtle or more pronounced.

I have seen several recipes for this dish online, and overall, it is a dish that takes quite a long time to prepare, so I was inspired to try to come up with an easy recipe including some of the same elements. While not authentic, my version below takes only a fraction of the time to prepare using the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and still tastes very yummy.

If you like Indian flavours and/or like to explore and tease your palate with interesting savoury spices, give this soup a try, and let me know what you think. 😉

Bean Soup with Indian Spices

Creamy beans paired with savoury spices - comforting and delicious!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Hellen |


  • Instant Pot (or another electric pressure cooker)


  • 2 cups split black matpe beans dried, also called urad or black lentils
  • 8 cups water hot (2 liters)
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger fresh, minced
  • 1 ½ cup tomatoes with chillies diced, canned, or substitute Mexican salsa
  • 3 tbsp ghee or butter or olive oil for dairy-free/vegan soup
  • 1 ½ tbsp garam masala mild
  • ½ tsp cinnamon ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro fresh, chopped (optional)


  • Pick and rinse the beans well. Drain and transfer to Instant Pot insert. Add water, bouillon, garlic and ginger. Close lid and steam release valve, set the cooking program to "Manual" and adjust the timer to 16 minutes on high pressure.
  • When time is up, let the cooker go into "Keep Warm" mode and wait 10 minutes (natural release). Then press "Cancel" and turn the steam valve to "Venting" to release the remaining pressure. Stir beans well to confirm they are soft/cooked through and not sticking to the bottom.
  • Press the "Sauté" button and adjust to low heat. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Meanwhile, heat ghee (or butter or oil) in a small saucepan. Add garam masala and cinnamon to "awake" spices, sautéing until fragrant (1-2 mins) but without burning them. Add spice mixture to cooked beans in the Instant Pot and mix well.
  • Simmer for another 3-5 minutes for spices to infuse the beans, stirring often. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Add the cilantro, stir and serve with hot store-bought parathas (I find them in the frozen section of the grocery store) or naan bread (available in the bread aisle). Enjoy!

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