Spiced Split Pea Dal with Lemon and Ginger

We like to make this savory, satisfying yellow split pea dal the centerpiece of a meal with some brown basmati rice and a big salad, but it could just as easily nestle into a larger meal, the way it would in a more traditional Indian dinner.

Tip

Try to buy dried beans and lentils from stores that turn them over fairly quickly. Older dried legumes don't cook as quickly or — more important — as evenly as fresher ones.

Split pea dal straight from Delicioustan

This savory and satisfying split pea dal was inspired by a recipe that caught my eye a couple of months ago on one of my old-favorite blogs, Kalyn's Kitchen. We've been crazy-obsessed with split peas and lentils this winter, and I say that with barely a note of hyperbole.

At least once a week, including at this very moment, I've got a pot of Layla's soup on the stove. And at least once a week I've been simmering a ginger, garlic, lemon, and spice-infused pot of yellow split peas.

I've been riffing and riffing, and I think I can finally call this version my own, as much as a recipe can ever really be. I've added lots of aromatic and health-promoting spices like cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and paprika. Though this dish doesn't claim any particular ethnic roots, I do believe it's from Delicioustan. (Oh my dear lord, what the hell is wrong with me?)

Spiced Split Pea Dal with Lemon and Ginger

We like to make this dal the centerpiece of a meal with some brown basmati rice and a big salad, but it could just as easily nestle into a larger meal, the way it would in a more traditional Indian dinner.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 500 g (2 3/4 cups) yellow split peas
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy 5-quart pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, for 90 seconds.
  4. Add the split peas and the salt and pepper along with 5 cups water, and give it all a good stir.
  5. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cover the pot.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until split peas are very tender and have lost their defined shape, about an hour.
  7. Stir in lemon juice and zest and cilantro.
  8. Serve as a main dish with rice and leafy greens or as an accompaniment to a larger meal (à la Indian dal).

Notes

Inspired by Kalyn's Kitchen.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 357 Total Fat:: 5.9g Carbohydrates:: 58.3g Fiber:: 22.2g Protein:: 20.7g