Yellow Split Pea Dahl

This is my first Indian dish.  And it's not half bad. ;D  The whole reason I made it was to try the taste of yellow split peas.  I've not cooked any yellow split peas recipes before.  Yellow split peas, I've learned, are also called yellow lentils.  Lentils come in different sizes and colors: yellow, green, brown, red, orange and dark gray.  I have a bag of dark gray lentils labeled "Spanish Pardina".  As soon as I figure out what to do with them, I'll let you know.

This yellow lentils recipe is adapted from one of my easy cooking cookbooks, Easy Beans from Trish Ross.  I refer to it often for family pleasing bean dinners.  This time around, it was only my husband and I that enjoyed this meal.

However you make it your own, don't skip topping it with yogurt. That was one of my favorite parts.  This recipe isn't spicy and surprisingly, doesn't call for curry.  And yes, I know turmeric may not be in every one's spice collection.  I just happen to have it on hand from canning pickles and relishes.  I read around and some folks say that curry can be a substitute for turmeric.

Hey, did you know that turmeric is the substitute for saffron?  It's true.  It's not an expensive spice and it will last a good while when it's kept in a cool, dark place.


Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried mild oregano
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 2 cups hot cooked broccoli
  • Garnish: plain yogurt and chopped cilantro

In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and carrots in oil over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add split peas, stock and spices. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, until split peas are tender to the bite. Check for yourself after the 45 minute mark.

Add tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with a mound of rice and a serving of broccoli. Top with yogurt and chopped cilantro.


Even though the recipe said my yellow split peas would be ready in 45 minutes.  I found it took 1 1/2 hours to get them tender to the tooth. Honestly, I could have tried going another 30 minutes, but I was HUNGRY and didn't want to wait any longer.   I've often read that long cooking times like this are due to the dried beans being old.  My source for the beans is a very popular foodie mart that turns over product pretty regular.  Of course, who knows how long those beans sat in some storehouse before they were ever shipped to the foodie mart.

My point is that if you find yourself waiting and waiting for the lentils to get tender, the age of the dried beans could be playing a factor.  Be watchful of the liquid level and make sure there's enough liquid to cover the beans while they're cooking.


Nutrition analysis per serving: 459 calories | 8g total fat | 3g sat fat | 10mg cholesterol | 332mg sodium | 79g total carbs | 15g dietary fiber | 11g sugars | 19g proteins | Vitamin A 185% | C 104% | E 12% | K 161% | Thiamin 47% | Riboflavin 22% | Niacin 31% | B6 28% | Folate 79% | Calcium 11% | Iron 29% | Magnesium 23% | Phosphorus 31% | Potassium 31% | Zinc 16% | Copper 31% | Selenium 17%