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Dhaal (or Yellow Dhal, Yellow Split Peas)

Submitted by Chazza 08 August 2010

Suitable for vegans. It's quite like tarka (tadka) dhaal but not cooked the same way. This is the same kind of legume used to make pease pudding.

You can add other whole spices. Cardamon, star anise, cinnamon and clove are good.



  • 1 x 5 oz cup uncooked yellow split peas,
  • 3 x 5 oz cups water,
  • 3 tsp spirit vinegar (or other very strong vinegar but not brown malt or balsamic),
  • 3 tsp lemon juice,
  • 1 or 2 finely chopped fresh red chillis to taste,
  • 1 heaped tsp vegan boullion,
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil,
  • 1 diced onion,
  • 1 small stick of celery very finely chopped,
  • 3 whole garlic cloves finely chopped,
  • The same amount of finely grated fresh ginger as the garlic,
  • 1 and a half tsp cumin - whole seeds or ground,
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric


24 hours in advance place the split peas in a cooking pot with at least four times their volume of cold water. The peas will swell up, so use a large pot.

Stir the peas, pour off the water (it will turn cloudy), wash again with the same amount of water (also cloudy), return to the pot then add the cooking water, vinegar, lemon juice, chilli but not the boullion (the salt will make the peas tough). Bring to the boil then set to simmer for two hours. Stir every five minutes for the first half hour or it will burn.

Prepare the vegetables, and measure out the spices, all ready to use. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onion for ten minutes. Add celery, garlic and ginger and fry until gently sizzling. Add the cumin seeds (with any other spices you choose) and fry for about two minutes. Add the turmeric powder last and fry for a strict 90 seconds.

Turn out all fried ingredients into the dhaal. You might want to de-glage the frying pan with a little water and add this to the dhaal as well. Now add the boullion.

Simmer for thirty minutes more. You can eat it now if you prefer the peas to have a little bite. Otherwise, simmer for longer (anything up to three hours) to make a smooth dhaal.

To serve, add sea-salt if required. Add pepper at the table if required. This is very good as a side dish, or can be made into a soup by adding extra stock.

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Please note: this recipe has been submitted by a user of this website and is not one of Delia's. We cannot, therefore, take any responsibility if the recipe contains errors, does not work or is not as you expect it to be, although, as our users are keen cooks, we are confident it will be a great dish. Delia tests each of her recipes three times, which is why you can always be sure of success.



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