Instant Pot Burmese Samosa Soup

Samosa Soup is a popular Burmese lentil soup which is topped with samosa and various other toppings to make it a filling and complete meal in itself!
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Samosa Soup is a flavorful lentil based vegan soup which is served with Samosa along with other toppings. The addition of samosa makes it very flavorful, filling and a complete meal in itself!

soup bowl topped with samosa, cilantro, sliced cabbage with lime wedge on the side

The first time I tasted samosa soup was at the Burma Superstar restaurant in San Francisco. One look at their menu and I knew I wanted to order it. After all it had samosa in it and who doesn’t like samosa? The soup exceeded my expectations! There was this warm lentil soup topped with crispy samosa and falafels and it was like a flavor party in my mouth! Since then, whenever we went to San Francisco, we made sure to go to the restaurant and have their samosa soup (and of course their tea leaf salad as well- it is so good)!

After that I also had samosa soup at Burma Burma in Delhi. I might be in minority here, but I thought the one in Delhi was even better than the one in SFO. It was little different than the one at Burma Superstar in terms of ingredients but so good!

Since then, I have been trying to make samosa soup at home. What I am sharing is obviously not an authentic recipe since I haven’t been to Burma but it’s based on the samosa soup that I have had at these restaurants. I see some recipes online where the soup is pretty thick but from whatever I have eaten at these restaurants, the soup has always been on the thinner side (like sambar) and so my soup has the same consistency.

What is Samosa Soup?

It’s a lentil based soup which is popular in Burma as a street food. It is known as Samusa Thouk in Burmese cuisine. Basically imagine spicy lentil soup and fried samosas dunked into it. Sounds delicious, isn’t it?

The lentils form the base for this soup. Samosa are dunked into it and sometimes even falafels are added to it. Toppings like cabbage, carrots etc. give crunch and texture to the soup. It is vegan, nut-free and egg-free.

Ingredients

There are three main components to this soup.

1- The Lentil Soup: the base for this samosa soup is made with lentils. I have used chana dal in this recipe and also used black chickpeas (kala chana). You can use toor dal (pigeon pea lentil) in place of chana dal. And if you don’t want to add kala chana, you can even skip it. I love the texture that kala chana adds to the soup here. Other than the lentil and chickpeas, the soup also has onions, garlic and whole spices like bay leaf, cumin seeds, dried red chilies and ground spices like paprika, coriander powder, turmeric. There’s also besan (gram flour) which gives flavor to the broth and tamarind concentrate which makes the soup a little tangy.

several bowls filled with spices, lentils, samosa etc, placed on a board

2- Samosa: of course it’s a samosa soup, so the samosa is the star ingredient here. You can definitely make samosa at home and I know you guys love my homemade samosa recipe. But if are in a rush or you don’t have time or you don’t feel like making them at home, just go to your favorite Indian restaurant and buy them. I literally did that for this recipe. You can even find samosa in the frozen section of your Indian grocery store. Even Trader Joe’s has frozen samosa but I don’t recommend those since those are super tiny for this soup.

3- Toppings: several topping give this soup a lot of texture. Crunchy cabbage is must (both green and purple) along with sliced carrots, cilantro, wedge of lime. You can even add some falafels if you like to make it more hearty and more filling as a meal. Bean sprouts, green onions can also be added as a topping.

How to Make Samosa Soup

Before you start making the soup, make sure to soak the Black chickpeas (kala chana) overnight. If you want, you can also soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours (I did not soak it).

1- To a pan on medium-low heat, add besan. Dry roast the besan, stirring continuously for 3 to 4 minutes until it has a nice roasted aroma. Remove pan from heat.

2- Transfer the roasted besan to a glass jar or bowl and add 1/2 cup water to it. Using a wire whisk, mix it all together until the besan and water are well combined. Set this aside.

3- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf, dried red chili, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let the cumin seeds crackle and mustard seeds pop.

4- Then add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt along with the onions (this helps them in cooking faster).

step by step picture collage of making samosa soup

5- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions soften.

6- Then add the spices- turmeric, coriander powder, paprika. Cook for around 45 seconds.

7- Then add the besan-water mixture that we had prepared earlier and stir.

8- Drain the soaked kala chana and add it to the pot along with chana dal. Give it a stir.

step by step picture collage of making samosa soup

9- Add 4 cups water and stir everything.

10- Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. You can adjust the amount of salt to taste.

11- Add tamarind concentrate and stir.

12- Close the pot with the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Quick release the pressure.

step by step picture collage of making samosa soup

Open the lid, add soup to serving bowls. Break samosa into 3-4 parts and add to soup bowl. Depending on the size of the soup bowl, you can add 1 or 2 samosa per soup bowl. Top with shredded green & purple cabbage, sliced carrots, cilantro!

samosa in a bowl, broken into two

Re-heating & Storage

You can store the soup in the refrigerator for 3 days easily. Store the soup and samosa separately.

When you want to serve the soup, re-heat the soup in a pan or in a microwave. And re-heat the samosa in air fryer (300 F for 15 minutes) or oven (350 F for 15 minutes) and then top the soup with hot samosa and serve! Don’t forget the toppings.

Tips & Notes

1- You can use toor dal in place of chana dal. You can also skip the kala chana. If you skip the kala chana and use toor dal, then you would need to pressure cook the soup for 8 minutes only.

2- This soup has a thin consistency. If you prefer a thick soup, you can add some cornstarch slurry to the soup once it’s cooked. Some people also add potatoes to the soup to make it thick but I like this soup without the potato.

3- The tamarind concentrate can be easily found at Indian grocery stores. I have used only 1 teaspoon of it here since it’s super strong in flavor. While testing this recipe, I did use 3 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate once and it made the soup very tangy. But every brand can be different so you can adjust the amount accordingly.

4- If you want to chana dal to be super soft in the soup, you can soak it for 3 to 4 hours before using in the recipe.

5- The soup base isn’t spicy at all. Since the samosa has so much flavor, and you eat this soup along with samosa I like to keep the base simple. But if you want, you can add chili powder or green chilies to the soup base.

6- The main flavor of this soup comes from having the soup with samosa – that’s the uniqueness of this soup so please don’t have this soup without it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the samosa soup vegan?

Yes, this soup is vegan. Not only that, it’s also nut-free.

Is the Burmese samosa soup gluten-free?

The soup base itself is gluten-free, but since it’s served with samosa, the meal in itself is not gluten-free.

Is samosa soup healthy?

The soup base is healthy but samosa as well know isn’t really diet food!

Instant Pot Burmese Samosa Soup

soup bowl topped with samosa, cilantro, sliced cabbage with lime wedge on the side
Manali
Samosa Soup is a popular Burmese lentil soup which is topped with samosa and various other toppings to make it a filling and complete meal in itself!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Soaking time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 50 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Burmese
Servings 4
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup kala chana black chickpeas, 44 grams, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons besan gram flour, 30 grams
  • 2 tablespoons oil 30 ml
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried red chili broken, can add more to up spice levels
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cup chopped red onion from 1 medium red onion
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chana dal 35 grams
  • 4.5 cups water divided
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 6-8 samosa homemade or store-bought
  • cabbage, carrot, cilantro for topping

Instructions
 

  • Before you start making the soup, make sure to soak the Black chickpeas (kala chana) overnight. If you want, you can also soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours (I did not soak it).
  • To a pan on medium-low heat, add besan. Dry roast the besan, stirring continuously for 3 to 4 minutes until it has a nice roasted aroma. Remove pan from heat.
    Transfer the roasted besan to a glass jar or bowl and add 1/2 cup water to it. Using a wire whisk, mix it all together until the besan and water are well combined. Set this aside.
  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf, dried red chili, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let the cumin seeds crackle and mustard seeds pop.
  • Then add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt along with the onions (this helps them in cooking faster).
    Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions soften.
  • Then add the spices- turmeric, coriander powder, paprika. Cook for around 45 seconds.
  • Then add the besan-water mixture that we had prepared earlier and stir. Drain the soaked kala chana and add it to the pot along with chana dal. Give it a stir.
  • Add 4 cups water and stir everything. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. You can adjust the amount of salt to taste.
    Also, add tamarind concentrate and stir.
  • Close the pot with the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Quick release the pressure.
  • Open the lid, add soup to serving bowls. Break samosa into 3-4 parts and add to soup bowl. Depending on the size of the soup bowl, you can add 1 or 2 samosa per soup bowl. Top with shredded green & purple cabbage, sliced carrots, cilantro!

Stove-top Instructions

  • If you don't have a Instant Pot, cook the chana dal and kala chana first using a stove-top pressure cooker. Then in a pan, add oil and then follow all the steps as it is until adding water. Once you have added the water, let the soup simmer for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. You may need to add more water as water evaporates on stove-top. Add samosa and serve with toppings.

Notes

  1. Nutritional info does not include the calories for samosa and other toppings. Please see the samosa recipe for samosa calories.
  2. You can use toor dal in place of chana dal. You can also skip the kala chana. If you skip the kala chana and use toor dal, then you would need to pressure cook the soup for 8 minutes only.
  3. This soup has a thin consistency. If you prefer a thick soup, you can add some cornstarch slurry to the soup once it’s cooked. Some people also add potatoes to the soup to make it thick but I like this soup without the potato.
  4. The tamarind concentrate can be easily found at Indian grocery stores. I have used only 1 teaspoon of it here since it’s super strong in flavor. While testing this recipe, I did use 3 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate once and it made the soup very tangy. But every brand can be different so you can adjust the amount accordingly.
  5. If you want to chana dal to be super soft in the soup, you can soak it for 3 to 4 hours before using in the recipe.
  6. The soup base isn’t spicy at all. Since the samosa has so much flavor, and you eat this soup along with samosa I like to keep the base simple. But if you want, you can add chili powder or green chilies to the soup base.
  7. The main flavor of this soup comes from having the soup with samosa – that’s the uniqueness of this soup so please don’t have this soup without it!

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 606mgPotassium: 317mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 216IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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