Sham's Dhal

“Dhal has many origins, and this South Indian style dhal recipe was given to me by my mother. I added my own flavours, and voila!”

Credit: Courtesy of Ilura Press

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Serves: 4


2 cups (400 g) yellow split peas
4½ cups (1.2 L) water
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsp vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
4 whole cloves
1½ tsp black mustard seeds
1½ tsp cumin seeds, whole
8 curry leaves
3 dried chillies, whole
4 whole cardamom pods
Salt to taste


Wash and drain the yellow split peas, then add them to a large pot with the water and bring to a slow simmer. Add the turmeric then cover. Cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary to avoid drying out and burning.

Once the split peas are soft, add the cumin powder and sweet paprika.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the diced onion, cooking until translucent.

Add the cloves, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried chillies and cardamom pods.

Cook for 4–6 minutes on low heat.

Add the spice mixture to the pot of split peas.

Simmer for at least 8 minutes, adding salt to taste.

Serve with rice or roti bread.

Recipes extracted from Lentil As Anything: Food, Culture, Community

, $54, Ilura Press