Winter outside, time to warm up a bit! And what can be more warming than a bowl of hot and spicy dhal with chili, cinnamon and other fragrant marvels. A mix of proper spices can turn even simple split peas into an exquisite dish.

To continue a nice habit of arranging healthy meals rich in vitamins and minerals, this time I chose split peas, which contain not only a lot of protein, but also iron, folic acid, vitamins B1 and B5. Besides, split peas are dirt-cheap and unappreciated at the same time, which is odd. But how often do you eat split peas? And in what form other than pea soup? For example I make delicious burgers which resemble falafels but taste a bit different. Or dosa pancakes made out of soaked split peas and rice. And now I can add Indian dhal to this list.

You can make dhal in many different ways, choosing various spices and vegetables, coconut milk and so on. As a base you can use either yellow or red lentils, chickpeas or other pulses. My version is the following:


  • approx. 250g split peas
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1/3 small cauliflower
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oil in a pot with a thick bottom, throw in chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, chopped red chili pepper, garam masala and grated ginger, fry for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add bay leaves, chopped garlic, sliced carrots, green bell pepper and potatoes, and also pieces of cauliflower. Add 1 tsp of salt and stew the vegetables for around 5 minutes stirring from time to time. Next, add split peas and 2 cups of water. Bring water to boiling and reduce the heat. Stew until peas and vegetables are tender. You can also add more salt, lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

Serve dhal together with rice and fresh parsley or coriander.

  • laponka

    For the first time I used split peas for dhal – and it was really good (although I didn’t have other veggies than carrots). Thank you for inspiration!

    • http://vegelicious.net/ vegelicious

      Happy to hear that :).