Lentil and dried lime soup – shorbat adas

This filling and comforting lentil and dried lime soup’s particular flavour comes from the slightly fermented aroma the dried limes bestow on the lentils.  Each time I make it I swap one of the spices for another giving subtle variations on the theme.  This is based on the shorbat adas soup, if you google there are variations of this lentil soup with and without the dried limes.

The dried limes can be bought online from Souschef (smoked and non-smoked).  I can also buy the yellow ones in a local Indian store.  The smoked black ones have a woody aroma while the non-smoked yellow ones have more of a sharp lime-fermented aroma.


The idea is to prick the limes and add them whole to the cooking pot, they’re also used in meat dishes, when serving the dish a lime is given for the individual to squeeze it to their taste.


I add vegetables because it’s a good opportunity to add them to the diet but the soup can be made with just the lentils and spices.


I add half red split lentils (left) and half of urad dal (right) but it can be made with only lentils.


I have also mixed things up a little, and swapped the urad dal for wheat berries (left) or a premix of bulgar wheat and quinoa (right).




Lentil and dried lime soup (Shorbat Adas)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoon of oil
  • 150g red split lentils
  • 150g urad dal (white ones with husks removed)
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 3 dried yellow limes, pricked several times
  • ½ - 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly crushed into powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or ground coriander (or both)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree (or could use 2-3 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1½ - 2 teaspoon of salt
  1. Soften the chopped onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, then add pepper, cumin/coriander, turmeric and stir for 10 seconds then add tomato puree and stir it for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and about 1.5 litres of water (about 3 pints). Bring soup to the boil and simmer until the urad dal is soft about 25 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning. Liquidize and adjust the soup with more water if it's too thick.