Masala Dal (Spiced Split Peas)
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- 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Soak the peas in enough water to cover generously for 1 hour.
- Drain and place the peas and the turmeric in a large pot with 5 cups water. Bring
to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for
45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and beat with a whisk or wooden spoon until pureed. Stir
in the salt. (Note: The pea mixture may be prepared in advance up to this point,
and kept refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen almost indefinitely.)
- Reheat the dal immediately before serving, adding a little water if necessary
to make it the consistency of thin mashed potatoes.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over moderate heat until the oil is almost smoking.
- Add the cumin seeds and fry for about 10 seconds.
- Add the onions and fry, stirring frequently, until they are dark brown,
about 20 minutes.
- Add the optional cayenne pepper if you are using it.
- Pour the oil and onion mixture
over the split pea puree and serve immediately, garnished with chopped cilantro.
Serves 4 to 6.
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