This Yellow split peas dal recipe is a tasty and nutritious homemade side dish, that’s super easy to make and packed with flavour. Made with yellow split peas, spices, and spinach, this vegan dal is a healthy and satisfying meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!
About this easy Indian yellow split peas recipe
One of the best things about yellow split pea dal recipe(Matar dal) is that it’s super easy to make. All you need is a bag of yellow split peas, some spices, and a few basic ingredients.
Cook the dal on the stove top or in instant pot pressure cooker. In the meanwhile, make a flavourful onion tomato base. Add the cooked dal to this mixture along with some spinach. Garnish with fresh coriander and enjoy a comforting homemade yellow dal in minutes.
Cooking in the instant pot or any other pressure cooker will save you time from soaking the dal and longer cooking time. So its almost instant and you don’t need any planning too.
Why you’ll love this recipe?
Super simple and Easy to make
Packed with flavour: The onion tomato masala adds a depth of flavour in this dal.
Healthy and nutritious: Yellow split peas are a great source of protein, fibre, and other important nutrients, making this dal recipe a healthy and nourishing choice.
Dietary needs: Vegan and can be made gluten-free by leaving out asafoetida, making it a great option for anyone with dietary restrictions.
Ingredients for Matar Dal
- Yellow split peas: It is the key ingredient in this dal. Naturally high in protein, fibre, various vitamins and minerals. Want to use something else instead – use Red Lentils, Masoor Dal or Toor dal.
- Onion: Red Onion or White onion is used in this recipe to create a flavourful base for the dal.
- Tomato: A combination of tomato paste and fresh tomatoes are used in this recipe to give a sweet and tangy flavour to the dish.
- Ginger garlic: A combination of fresh ginger and garlic is used in this recipe to add a warm, aromatic flavour to the dal. You can also use ready made ginger garlic paste instead.
- Chilli: Chilli adds a spicy kick to the dish. You can adjust the amount of green chilli and red chilli powder according to your taste preference.
- Spices: A combination of spices including turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, and asafoetida are used to give the dal its unique flavour.
- Spinach or any other greens: Fresh spinach are added to the dal to provide extra nutrition and a pop of green colour. You can also use any other greens such as kale, methi or dill in the recipe.
- Fresh coriander: It adds a bright, fresh flavour and a pop of green colour.
- Lemon: or lime juice helps to balance out the richness of the dal.
Cook Yellow Split Peas for making dal
To make yellow split pea dal, first soak the split peas in hot water for at least an hour, then drain and rinse. While this is an optional step, this will help them cook faster and more evenly. Drain and rinse before using.
In a pot, add the split peas, water, and turmeric. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the peas are tender. Now whisk the dal to break it down a bit.
PS – If you are using manual pressure cooker, place the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
How to make Indian Yellow split peas and spinach dal recipe step by step?
While the split peas cook, make the onion tomato sauce by heating oil in a separate pan, then adding cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic, and green chilii. Cook for a few minutes, then add tomato paste, water, and ground spices. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and stir. Next add the cooked split peas to the onion tomato masala and season with salt. Bring it to a boil and then add chopped spinach if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Finally, add some lemon juice to brighten up the flavours and garnish with fresh coriander, if desired. Serve hot with rice or naan bread.
How to make Instant Pot Split peas dal?
The recipe is exactly same as cooking on the stove top. You can save the time for soaking and cooking faster in the Instant Pot pressure cooker or any other stove top pressure cooker.
To cook yellow split pea dal in an Instant Pot, rinse the dal and add it to the pot. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes before manually releasing the rest. Whisk the dal to a smooth consistency and thin it out with water if needed.
While the dal cooks, make the onion tomato sauce by heating oil in a pan and adding cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic, and green chilli. Cook for a few minutes, then add tomato paste, water, and ground spices. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Combine the dal with the onion tomato masala, season with salt, and add chopped spinach if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve hot with rice or naan bread. Garnish with fresh coriander if desired.
What to serve with Yellow split pea dal?
Serve with brown rice, white basmati rice or other grains like quinoa or couscous. This creates a balanced and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.
Serve with naan bread, yogurt flatbread or roti: They’re perfect for mopping up all the flavourful sauce and adding a little extra something to the dish.
Storing leftover Indian Yellow split peas dal
Fridge: Store leftover dal in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days once cooled down. Divide dal into smaller portions for easier reheating later on.
Freezer: Storing leftover dal in the freezer is a great option if you want to keep it for a longer period of time or for batch freezing. Freeze leftover dal in portions in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months.
Reheat: When reheating frozen dal, it’s best to thaw it in the fridge overnight. You can also reheat frozen dal directly on the stove or in the microwave.
Matar Dal FAQ’s
What is Yellow split peas dal?
Yellow split dal is a type of lentil commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is made by splitting yellow mung beans and is rich in protein and dietary fibre. Yellow split dal is often used in soups, stews, and curries
Can you freeze yellow split peas dal?
Yes, you can freeze yellow split peas dal, especially if you’re batch cooking. It’s a convenient way to have ready-made meals on hand. Just make sure to cool the dal to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can you make tarka dal with yellow split peas dal?
Tarka dal is typically made with split lentils like masoor dal or toor dal, but it can also be made with yellow split peas dal. Substitute Yellow peas for Masoor dal in this recipe for Tarka dal.
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Easy Yellow Split peas dhal recipe below
- 1 cup yellow split peas 200g
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbps oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 small tomato diced
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 ” ginger grated
- 1 green chilli
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ⅛ tsp asafoetida hing – optional
- Salt to taste
- 1½ cup spinach or other greens chopped – 60g
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Fresh coriander chopped (optional)
- Begin by rinsing the split peas under cold water, then soak them in water for at least 1 hour or overnight. Drain and rinse the soaked split peas.
- In a pot, add the split peas and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the split peas are tender.
- While the split peas are cooking, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add tomato paste, ground spices, and 1/3 cup of water. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes to the onion tomato masala.
- Once the split peas are cooked, add them to the onion tomato masala.
- Season with salt and bring it to a simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach or other greens to the pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until wilted.
- Stir in lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander, if desired.
- Serve hot with rice or naan bread.Enjoy your delicious and nutritious yellow split pea dal!