Spicy Green Lentils and Yellow Split Peas


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
My trusted copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer has once again come to the rescue when I needed a quick but satisfying meal solution to end a particularly dreary and trying week. In times of woe, it's easy to resort to restaurant meals, but I never forget that home cooked meals are not only more nourishing, but cheaper and generally superior in taste. The spicy kick of this dish is pleasantly balanced by the muted sweetness of the brown sugar.

I served this delightful lentil curry over a bed of hot buttered basmati rice alongside some Savory Olive Muffins with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Ricotta Cheese.

This is my contribution to the 8th helping of My Legume Love Affair, a popular food event started by and hosted this month by the ever-talented Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.
Spicy Green Lentils and Yellow Split Peas


2/3 cup of green lentils
1/4 cup of yellow split peas
2 tablespoons of ghee or a mixture of butter and oil
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of asafetida
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 - 2 hot red or green chilies
2 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup of jaggery or brown sugar (I used rapadura)
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
generous handful of curry leaves (I used dried as I didn't have any fresh ones on hand)


Rinse the lentils and the yellow split peas in a strainer. Transfer to a medium-sized saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very soft and the split peas are tender - roughly 40-50 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat the ghee (or butter and oil) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to sputter and pop. Add the cumin seeds, salt, cayenne, asafetida and turmeric, stir and immediately add the tomatoes, hot pepper, sugar, parsley and curry leaves. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency - roughly 10 minutes.

When the lentils and peas are done, mash a portion of the legumes with the back of a spoon. Add the sauce to the pan, cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Yields 4 servings.
More lentil recipes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Rice and Green Lentils in Coconut Milk
Saffron-Brandied Lentils
Lentil Soup with Prunes and Apricots

12 comments:

Vaidehi said...

wow.. .dal looks great..good to eat with steamy rice and little ghee on top of it :)

chakali

Susan said...

Mmmmmmm...and with more than a pinch of asafetida, too. : }

Thanks so much, Lisa, for this warm and tasty addition to MLLA8!

bindiya said...

I love these, your version looks pretty good, would be great with some plain boiled rice.

Usha said...

Looks delicious, this one is definitely bookmarked to try soon!

Sujatha said...

Dal looks delicious... a very different one... I got to try this!

Kevin said...

This lentil and split pea curry sounds good! I look forward to reading more about those muffins.

Jamie said...

Mmmm I love warm, spicy Indian lentil dishes. This one looks really good. The muffins sound pretty darn fab too!

Anonymous said...

I made it tonight and it was delicious. I quadrupled the recipe (I wanted leftovers) and it worked out fine except it was very spicy! Next time I'll tone down the spices a bit. But excellent, thanks!

zlamushka said...

Gosh, this looks great. I am now on my 21-day vegan challenge and am craving something spicy, hearthy and warming. This one looks just like the one I want.

I have been making a lot of soups lately. Is No Croutons Requirred still on? I thought of participating, as I havent been blogging for over three months :_(

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Receipe.My husband just loved it..

SamanthaPayntr said...

mmmmm, this turned out really great! I love the sweet and (super) spicy, that always makes me happy.

It's really spicy (just how i like it) i would tell people who have a hard time with spicy to only use one chile pepper and half the cayenne (or none at all)

basil said...

I made this tonight - delicious. Thanks once again.