Yellow split pea dal

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Vegetarian mains

Yellow split pea dal

Main Serves 4 30 min
There are thousands of recipes for dal, using every sort of pulse under the sun. However, dried yellow split peas are quick and easy and they break down to give the right creamy texture.


for the masala paste

  • 75g cashew nuts
  • 75g golden sultanas
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 20g fresh ginger, peeled
  • ½ tsp each red chilli powder and garamasala
  • 1 tsp each cumin powder, turmeric and coriander
  • 150ml water

for the dal

  • 300g yellow split peas
  • 1 onion
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min

For the masala paste

  • Step 1

    Boil the cashew nuts for 5 minutes in a little water, then drain. Put these, plus all the other ingredients, into the small bowl of an electric blender and whizz to a fine paste. It's fantastic – good for everything from kedgeree to coronation chicken.

To make the dal

  • Step 1

    slowly bring the yellow split peas to boil in twice their volume of water. Take off the heat and skim any froth that floats to the surface.
  • Step 2

    Meanwhile fry an onion and when it begins to colour add 3 tablespoons of the masala paste. Cook for a few minutes and transfer to the skimmed split pea pan. Put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, but more frequently towards the end, until cooked and creamy. You might need to add a little more water. Season well.

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