Colleen’s Yellow Split Pea Dal…Super Easy & Oil-Free!

Yellow Split Pea Dal (Vegan & Oil-free)

Yellow Split Pea Dal (Vegan & Oil-Free)

Yellow Split Pea Dal, often spelled “dahl” or “dhal,” is one of my favorite Indian dishes. This super easy recipe came from one of my “go-to” vegan cookbooks The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Since I am trying to adhere to a no-oil diet, this oil-free dish was perfect for tonight’s simple dinner.

Indian Basmati Brown Rice was the perfect accompaniment to the meal, along with Whole Foods’ toasted Organic Whole Wheat Pita Bread cut into wedges. Naan, a delicious Indian flatbread, would have been even better. However, I couldn’t find a vegan store-bought naan, and I wasn’t up to the task of making my own.


IMG_1688My husband, who is not a major lover of Indian food, really enjoyed the dinner calling it satisfying and “professional.” His use of the word “professional” when referring to my cooking always makes me happy! I hope you enjoy Colleen’s recipe as much as we did tonight.

Yellow Split Pea Dal (Vegan & Oil-Free)

Yellow Split Pea Dal (Vegan & Oil-Free)


Makes 6 servings


3 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons water, for sautéing, divided

1 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup yellow split peas, uncooked

1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish (optional)


Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons water in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook onion, garlic, and ginger until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. To prevent sticking, use more water.

Add curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more water, as necessary. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for a minute or so, thoroughly mixing paste with other ingredients.

Add 3 cups water and split peas, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until split peas are soft and broken down. Add more water, if necessary. Simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick. Add salt.

Top each bowl with fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired, and serve.

*Note: This recipe can also be made into a soup by adding more water.


  1. This was very good

  2. Do you need to soak the split peas?

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