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Yellow Split Pea Curry

8 Servings

1 hour 30 minutes

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Whole cumin, coriander and mustard seeds add distinct flavor and textural contrast to this dish. At Vij's Restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, it is served with basmati rice and topped with a fried egg. We liked ours with cumin-seasoned jeera rice, lime-pickled cucumbers and yogurt.




Don’t forget to stir the peas frequently as they cook; as the water is absorbed, the mixture thickens.

1 hour 30 minutes


  • 10

    cups water

  • 2

    cups yellow split peas


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Tim M.
November 5, 2023
Perfect for Vegetarian Brother
I found this recipe because my brother is vegetarian. I dread a lot of vegetarian meals because they aren't filling, but this dish fills up even my teenage nephew. It's so easy to make and super flavorful. My entire family (even the not vegetarian ones) like this dish. Even my 14-year-old nephew asks for it, which was really flattering to me! It's such a win when I can get one dish everyone likes. The fresh cilantro and lime at the end, plus the cayenne really make split peas a lively, flavorful star. I used to think of split peas as mucky, muddy, thick and sludgy. But this dish revitalized and revised my opinion of all bags of dried peas/beans. The flavor combination is so vibrant and spicy, and it's easy to thin it with just a bit of water if you prefer. You could easily eat this as a soup. I serve it over basmati rice with naan. It fills everyone up with hearty goodness. Nobody leaves hungry.
Robert S.

I made this last night with rice and a fried egg and it was fantastic. It took a little longer than the 1 hour 30 minutes, but I expect that when making a recipe for the first time. It was worth the effort. I will make this again and I will try to be more efficient with the timeline.

Cheryl P.

A big hit. The pickled cucumber really brightens up the lentils.

Marc H.

Excellent dal recipe. A favorite of ours after so many dal disappointments.

Mary S.

This was a hit with the grown ups, but not my kids. I think the whole coriander seeds put them off. Next time I will give the seeds a light smash in the mortar and pestle. I'm thinking that there must be a way to do this in the instant pot! Let us know when you perfect it:)

Erin C.

One of my favorite Milk Street recipes. So easy and full of flavor. It’s in my rotating fall/winter dinner rotation. Makes tons of leftovers that freeze well. I’ve made this with split yellow peas and chana dal, both work equally well. If only Milk Street would come up with a good Saag Paneer recipe???

Nadine L.

This was astonishingly, rhapsodically good. I will be making this again and again. The recipe has the added bonus of being affordable to make and I can feed my vegetarian family members. The lime pickle adds a lovely, textural contrast. This recipe is a definite keeper! Super fantastic.