Split Pea and Spinach Dahl


  • 250g Split Yellow Peas
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • About 1 litre Water
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 3cm piece of Ginger, finely diced
  • 2 tsp dried chopped Red Chillis
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp Ground Coriander Seeds
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 200g Fresh Spinach, washed and roughly chopped (if using baby spinach, just leave it whole) / frozen spinach
  • Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped (optional, to garnish)
  • Pinch Amchur – dried sour mango (optional, to garnish)


Rinse the split peas in a sieve, place in a large saucepan with the turmeric and cover with about 750ml of cold water.

Bring the pan up to the boil and then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the peas are quite soft and creamy. You may need to add more water as the peas cook; I like my dal to have quite a thick texture and some discernible peas whilst others prefer a soupier creamy finish.

Whilst the peas are cooking you can fry up the spiced tomato mixture in a small frying pan.

Heat up the oil and fry off the whole cumin seeds until fragrant.

Add the onion, chilli and ginger and cook for about 10 minutes until the onion begins to soften.

Turn up the heat and stir in the garlic, coriander and garam masala, cooking just until you are enveloped in all the wonderful smells. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Once the split peas are soft and cooked through you can add the tomato mixture, along with a pinch of salt ,and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Throw in the spinach at the last moment, it barely requires any cooking at all, just a couple of minutes in the hot dal will wilt it beautifully. Kale or Swiss chard are also great options and take about 5 minutes to cook in the dal over a medium heat.

You could add chopped fresh coriander or a pinch of amchur powder (dried sour mango) just before serving.

Serve hot with plain rice or flat bread.