Yellow split pea Dal flavoured in fragrant spices such as cumin, garam masala, curry, mustard seeds and more. I love the flavours of Indian food; it's so aromatic that it's intoxicating. Yellow split pea dal is normally vegetarian (this recipe is plant based/vegan)
This dal recipe is fairly simple. I know sometimes trying to attempt new cuisines can be a daunting task, so I purposely made this vegan yellow split pea recipe easy to follow.
What is dal?
Dal is the Indian term for legumes and pulses - peas, chickpeas, beans etcetera. Spelling variations can include dahl, dhal and dal.
How to make this yellow split pea recipe
There are two parts to the cooking method of this vegan yellow split pea dal; 1. cooking the dal (yellow split pea) and 2. pan frying the aromatics. These two processes can be done simultaneously.
The best thing you can do for yourself is prepare your food before getting onto the cooking part of this dal recipe. This is called Mise En Place in a professional kitchen.
Start by measuring all your spices and liquids. Do this per item. It will make it easier to cook your yellow dal recipe. The chop/slice up all the ingredients requiring this; ginger, chilli, coriander...
Now start with cooking the dal once you have this in a pot and bubbling away, you can pan fry the aromatics at the same time. Frying the aromatics will finish ahead of the dal. The pan fried spices will be darker once cooked.
Once the dal is completely cooked, it should be goopy, add the aromatics to the yellow split pea and stir through thoroughly. Taste to see if you'd like to adjust the salt.
Serve with freshly chopped coriander/cilantro and enjoy with naan bread or rice. Of course, you can also eat this on its own, it's a very filling meal for either lunch or dinner.
This dal recipe is also perfect as leftovers, I find the flavour to be better infused the next day. Store in a container in your fridge.
Yellow split peas (dal) in a pot of water with tomato, turmeric, salt
Dal Aromatics in a pan ready to be fried
Yellow Split Pea Dal
- 2 cups yellow split pea dal
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Salt adjusted to taste
- 6 cups Water 5 cups for cooking dal, one as a spare
- 2 tablespoon Fresh ginger finely chopped
- 1 small Red chilli chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Mustard seeds
- 4-5 cloves Garlic sliced
- 2-3 medium Tomatoes Chopped
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- ½ teaspoon Curry powder
- 2 tablespoon Coriander Cilantro. Roughly chopped
- 2 Dried curry leaves crushed
- 1 tablespoon Fenugreek
- 1-2 tablespoon Olive oil
Yellow Split Pea Dal Mise En place (food preparation)
- Measure out all spices separately; turmeric, salt, garam masala, curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, fenugreek. Set aside
- Chop tomatoes, set aside
- Peel garlic and finely slice, set aside
- Chop coriander/cilantro, set aside
- Measure out water, set aside
- Measure out yellow split peas (dal), set aside
- Measure out olive oil, set aside
Yellow Split Pea Dal Cooking Method
- In a large pot add, 5 cups of water, yellow split pea, tomato, turmeric and salt. Bring to the boil and then allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Stirring every 5 minutes.
- In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the cumin, ginger, chilli, curry leaves, ginger, garam masala, mustard seeds, curry powder, fenugreek and pan fry until all every coated and fragrant. The aromatics will darken in colour. Set aside.
- Check on the dal, test if it has cooked through. If it requires more water, add ½ a cup at a time. Once it has fully cooked, turn off the stove. Dal should be thick (goopy) and not runny.
- Add aromatics to the cooked dal and stir through thoroughly.
- Serve with chopped coriander/cilantro and enjoy with naan bread or rice.
One of my other popular dal / lentil recipe to try is Lentil Soup aka Shorbet Addas my entire family loves this soup - it's a staple in our soup menu. Mariam from Recipe 52, also has a lovely masoor dal recipe.
For more lentil inspiration, try Emese and Nandi's Quick Broccoli and Lentil Story Fry. Or for more delish Indian recipes, try South Indian Chana Masala for Chana Puri.
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