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Yellow Split Pea Dahl


In some parts of the world this dish is also called a Split Pea Soup. When I cook it, it is probably more of a stew than a soup as I try to pack it with as many vegetables as possible.

You can eat it on its own, but I would serve it with some roasted couscous or rice.

Split peas are high in protein and fibre but low in fat. There is no need to soak split peas before cooking, and they turn very creamy when cooked through. And yes, they are very cheap, no wonder they are sometimes referred to as ‘students’ food’ :)

Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 40 min

Difficulty: easy




  • 250g yellow dried split peas, rinsed until the water runs clear
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium size leaks, chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, chopped, seeds removed
  • Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 250g plum/baby tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1tsp. garam masala
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • Freshly ground black pepperHandful chopped fresh coriander leaves


1. Rinse the lentils and then place them in a medium size saucepan, pour over 1l of water, bring to boil and then turn down the heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are about al-dente, adding more water as necessary. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon.

2. In the meantime, heat the coconut oil in a skillet, add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant.

3. Add the leeks, chilli and ginger and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden.

4. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and stir well to combine, cook for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the ground spices and 100ml of water and stir well to combine and then simmer over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

6. Add the cooked lentils to the pan, stir well, adding more water if necessary. Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn down the heat for another 10 minutes.

7. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.


2 September 2016