Yellow Split Pea Dal

Loving my Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen cookbook. With the uneasiness in the world, our pantry is full of dried beans and lentils - and I'll definitely be making this again. Here's a slightly adapted (and tripled) recipe from the cookbook. (Thank you, Munira, for bringing us all the great lentils and other items from your Indian grocery store - and especially for your homemade garam masala!)


3 C mix of dry lentils with similar cooking time:
- split pigeon pea (>= 1 C)
- chana dal (< 1 C)
- moong dal (< 1 C)
- red lentils (less cooking time)

5+ cups water for cooking)

2 T canola oil
1 T cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seed
2 cups chopped red onion
1-2 green or red chiles, chopped
10 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 inch knob ginger, chopped
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp coriander
1.5 tsp garam masala
4 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can diced)
1 tsp salt

fresh chopped cilantro
fresh chopped mint
lemon juice


Cook the lentils. Red lentil cooks fast, so I use a large pot for that - just bring to a boil and turn down and stir. The others take a bit longer to cook; for those (e.g., split pea or chana), I use our Instant Pot (3 cups split peas + 4-6 cups water, maybe 8 minutes normal pressure. I don't pre-soak any of these.

Fry the cumin seeds and chili for 1 minute in oil. Add onion, salt, garlic, and ginger, and cook until golden, 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add turmeric, coriander, and garam masala; mix well and cook for a minute. Add tomato, mix well, and cook another 6 minutes or so. Add cooked lentils, mix well, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spicing. Mash some of the lentils using a hand blender. Add more water if desired, and simmer until desired consistency. Garnish with cilantro, mint, and dash of lemon. Serve with roti or naan.

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