Yellow split peas with thyme and cumin

Yellow split peas with thyme and cumin

I am a grown up women, who to this day has no idea what dhal is what. Okay I know it, if you use their Indian names , but when I read a cook book and they use the Western name. Yirree then I am soooo confused I have to use a picture book to help me differentiate between them.

I mean give me a break would  you, you get black dhal, white dhal which is known as urad dhal, but then you get urad black dhal as well. You also get green dhal, yellow dhal and when you say yellow you have to be specific, the yellow dhals are a completely differently story altogether. You get yellow moong dhal,  yellow oil dhal, yellow chana dhal, and yellow pea dhal and then the most common one red lentils which is actually a dhal.

Oh and did I mention that most people who aren’t Indian refer to dhal as lentils which adds more confusion to the confusion because you actually get lentils lentils as well so you see how easy Indian cooking looks, but how complicated it becomes when you are not specific.

If that isn’t bad, when I ask my mother to help me she tells me the big dhal or the small dhal… hello hello enough the cookbooks use names I am not familiar with now we are bringing size into it. When I first started cooking, I would hold all the dhals together to try and figure out which one was the big and which one was the small.

Even to this day when I tell someone pea dhal I have to explain and then when I use the English name for it, I just confuse myself all over again. Who knew dhal/lentils/whatever other name there is in the world for it would be so complicated.

My parents like dhal, my mother likes wedding dhal, yes again and Indian name for a dhal curry. My father likes thin dhal, you can never win with these two. I am not a huge fan of dhal, because whenever I boil it, if my stove is clean it boils over, wooden spoon over the top, that trick doesn’t work, let my stove be dirty it doesn’t boil over, but if its clean and I take my eye off the pot for a second, that the entire surface of the stove has boiled dhal floating on it.

I came across a recipe for yellow split peas with thyme and cumin, not something I would make every in my house, but I was game to give it a try.

Stumped by the first ingredient. Yellow dhal, again the recipe was not specific it just said yellow, knowing full well that there are about 4/5 different kinds of yellow dhal, I opted for the oil dhal it was the only packet that was open in the freezer.

All in all this was a very delicious dish after I figured out which yellow dhal to use.


  • 285g x yellow dhal ( oil dhal).
  • 1/3 x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 x tbsp. chives, chopped.
  • 1 x tbsp. parsley chopped.
  • 1 x dry red chillies, finely chopped.
  • ¼ x tsp dried thyme.
  • 1 ¼ x tsp salt.


  • Soak dhal in boiling water overnight, drain and rinse.
  • Add dhal to a pot with 1 ½ liters of water.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Add turmeric powder and stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil till the dhal is soft. Remove any foam that forms.
  • Add the onions, chives, parsley, chillies and salt.
  • Stir and cook for 30 minutes or until the dhal is to your thickness.

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