Indian Yellow Split Pea Dal

Makes 4 servings

Dal (dahl or dhal) is an easy, adaptable, popular vegetarian dish from Southeast Asia. Depending on the region, dal is made from split or dried peas, lentils, or beans and a variety of spices and can be served as a meal or side dish or more liquid can be added to make into a soup.


  • 1 cup yellow split peas (uncooked)
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin (whole seeds or ground)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • Dash pepper (to taste)


  1. In a large pot, combine the uncooked yellow split peas and the water or vegetable broth, and bring to a slow simmer on the stove.
  2. Add the turmeric and cayenne or chili powder.
  3. Cover and cook for at least 30 minutes, until the yellow split peas are fully cooked, stirring occasionally.
  4. You can also continue to cook your dal for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, if you prefer, to allow the yellow split peas to break up and have a smoother texture.
  5. Either way, once the split peas are almost done, in a separate large skillet or frying pan, heat the onion, garlic, cumin, and clove in the margarine. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until onion, is soft.
  6. Add the onion, garlic and spices mixture to the split peas, and allow to simmer for at least 5 more minutes.
  7. Add a dash of pepper and salt.
  8. Enjoy hot with rice, bread or on it’s own in a soup bowl!

 Alternative Split Pea Salad  (from our friends at

Makes: 2 cups Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes


  • ½ cup dry split peas (green, yellow, or a mix)
  • 1 ½ cups broth (any flavor)
  • 2 green onion (or 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup Italian salad dressing


  1. In a small saucepan, combine split peas and water or broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender but still holding their shape, 20 minutes. Drain if needed. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cooked split peas, onion, tomatoes and parsley. Add the dressing and toss lightly.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Split Pea Curry


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup split peas
  • 1–14 ounce can diced tomatoes (fire roasted for best flavor)
  • 1–14 ounce can light coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked rice and warm naan, for serving


  1. In a large skillet with high sides, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and cook until just translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the curry paste and stir. Continuing stirring for 1-2 minutes, or until the curry paste becomes fragrant (this helps to reactivate the spices in the curry paste).
  3. Add in the vegetable broth and split peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the split peas have become tender (but not mushy).
  4. Add in the diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick and the split peas are very tender.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning—some curry pastes are very salt-heavy, so you might not need to add any seasoning at all.
  6. Serve over hot rice and with a side of warm naan bread.



Food Bank Bites | May 2021