Quick to prepare and full of flavour, this Easy Yellow Split Pea and Spinach Dhal is a delicious, healthy, meat-free curry – equally at home served on its own with brown rice, as a nutritious midweek meal, or as part of a larger Indian themed meal at the weekend. 100% plant-based, this recipe is great for vegans, vegetarians and anyone looking to eat less meat but still enjoy great tasting food… Oh and it’s gluten free too!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine British, Fusion, Indian
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 55minutes
Total Time 1hour
Author Eb Gargano
3cmgingergrated or finely chopped
3clovesgarliccrushed or grated
½teaspoonchilli flakes(or to taste, or use fresh chilli if you prefer!)
1cinnamon stickbroken in half
250gyellow split peas(see note 1)
750mlvegetable stockfrom a cube is fine – I use 1 Kallo Organic stock cube, which is vegan and gluten free (see note 2)
Place the olive oil and diced onions in a large lidded sauce pan and cook gently, with the lid on for 3-4 minutes, until softened but not browned.
Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute over a low heat, with the lid off.
Add the chilli flakes, cumin, turmeric, cloves and cinnamon and cook for 2 more minutes – add a splash or two of water if the pan gets dry.
Add the yellow split peas, vegetable stock and tomato puree, give everything a good stir and then bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 40-45 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the split peas are done to your liking (see note 1).
If all the water gets absorbed before the split peas are done to your liking, add a little more water and continue cooking until they are done.
When the dhal is just cooked, add the spinach on top and stir until all the spinach leaves have just wilted, but still retain some texture. (It will look like way too much spinach to start with, but keep stirring and have faith!)
Serve with brown or white rice and Cumin Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash. (Or serve whatever you like best with a curry!)
Split peas vary enormously in how long they take to cook – so I advise you follow the packet instructions and also test as you go along. It is likely to take between 40 minutes and 1 hour.
The precise amount of liquid you will need will depend on how long your split peas take to cook and quite what shape your saucepan is! I advise you start with 750mls (3 cups) and see how you go – add extra water at the end if it starts to get dry!
You’ll notice I don’t add salt to this recipe, that’s because the brand of stock cube I use is quite salty enough for this dish. If you are using a low salt stock cube or homemade vegetable stock, you may wish to add a little salt to this dish to bring out the flavours.
Suitable for freezing.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.