This is a great vegetarian recipe that is very popular in South Asian cooking. This version is very easy because I have boiled the split peas in advance.  Onions, tomatoes, green chili, garlic/ginger are sauted in oil with plenty of spices. It’s finished off with fresh cilantro, garam masala and squeeze of lemon.

Split peas are a variety of legumes that come as green or yellow. No matter the variety, legumes are healthy, delicious and are a great staple for your meal planning.


Always make sure you go through any dry lentils checking for debris.

I boiled the split peas until done that takes about 35 minutes. They can also be soaked and just cook altogether in the onion/tomato/spice mixture, if you do that adjust time cooking it all together.

The consistency can be thick or thin. You can adjust by adding more or less water.

This is mildly spicy. You can always add more green chilies, dry red chili pepper flakes.

Serve with

Cumin rice,

Homemade roti

other recipes you make enjoy

Brown lentils (Whole Masoor dal)

Red lentils (Masoor dal)


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -5


  • 1 cup dry yellow split pea (picked through and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh garlic/ginger
  • 1 serrano chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 3 cups water for boiling lentils


  • few tbsp. fresh cilantro chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Make sure lentils are picked through and rinsed.
  • boil the peas till almost done in 3 cups of water about 35 minutes. I just make sure the water is covering the peas entire boiling time.
  • Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and green chili, saute till light golden brown about 3 minutes. Add cumin seeds, garlic and ginger, saute for 30 seconds just until rawness of garlic/ginger is cooked out. Add tomatoes and spices. Saute till tomato is cooked down and oil starts to separate from onion/tomato mixture 3-5 min. If you feel like spice mixture is sticking just add few tbsp. of water.
  • Add the boiled peas with the boiling remaining water which should be about 1 cup.
  • Add extra 1/2 cup of water. You can skip this if the consistency is too thin for you.
  • Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Mash some peas for more thicker consistency.
  • Garnish with cilantro, squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with garam masala.
Author: Shazia
Course: Main




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