Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Dazzling Dals: Split Pea~Spinach Stew

Split peas have always been one of those pantry staples that I forget, until the cravings hit me. Yes, I crave spicy split pea stews. Like toor dal, they have a pleasant, addictive taste and when cooked with vegetables plus chilli powder, they make a quick and easy main course dal dish. Rice, or chapati are not needed and the stew can be filling by itself. Good meal for days, when I would like to cut back on calories and still feel satisfyingly stuffed.

Green Split Peas, Spinach and Tomato
Green Split Peas, Spinach and Tomato


1 tablespoon of peanut oil
4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1 onion – finely chopped
3 big, ripe tomatoes – finely chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach – chopped
1 cup green split peas (green matar dal)
(soaked in warm water at least for 15 minutes beforehand to speed up the cooking)
1 tsp each or to taste – salt, chilli powder, turmeric & powdered cumin
4 cups of water

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and onions. Saute to pale-brown. Add tomatoes next, and cook covered on high heat for about 5 minutes. Open the lid, and press with the back of spatula vigorously to mush the contents. To this, add spinach and saute, till leaves wilt.

Add green split peas, plus the seasoning – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and cumin. Add water and mix thoroughly. Have a taste and adjust salt, chilli powder to your liking. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the split peas reach fall-apart stage. (Split peas cook easily on stove-top, do not need pressure-cooking.)

Serve warm.

Split Pea - Spinach Stew
Spicy Stew of Split Peas and Spinach

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peas (Split),Spinach (Friday January 19, 2007 at 8:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

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23 comments for Dazzling Dals: Split Pea~Spinach Stew »

  1. Hi Indira
    This stew looks lovely just like the Afghan Stew. Which by the way, I tried and loved. I had to cut down the chili powder because 1 teaspoon of my chilli powder is too much heat for us.

    By the way, how much spinach do you put in this stew? Thanks!


    Comment by archana — January 19, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

  2. Oops, I forgot spinach in ingredients list. One bunch of fresh spinach, Archana.

    Comment by Indira — January 19, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  3. Looks yummy! It is nutritious too.

    Comment by manjubansal — January 20, 2007 @ 2:26 am

  4. looks awesome!!!!! Lovely combination Indira!!! 🙂

    Comment by Coffee — January 20, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  5. Hi Indira!
    Just now came back to Gujarat after having a great time in sister in law’s marriage at vijayawada. I missed Mahanandi very much though my husband, who returned soon after the marriage, updated me with your new posts. Coming to today’s recipe, IT IS GREAT! I visited your web site in the evening and could not stop myself after seeing the irresistible photo of split pea stew. I have all the ingredients handy and there I was! I am right now sipping the hot hot elixir enjoying the cold evening here sitting beside my husband. Thanks for making my evening Indira!

    Comment by Anuradha — January 20, 2007 @ 5:32 am

  6. There is a perception in Andhra that , eating spinach and tomato together causes kidney stones. Since you said that you eat this stew often , did you face any such issues ?

    Comment by curious — January 20, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  7. heyo,
    My ex-roommate left this huge box full of split-pea dal which i didnt know what to make out of it, as we dont use this daal in the north!
    now I know.will let you know how it turns out!

    Comment by disha — January 20, 2007 @ 9:28 am

  8. Hi curious,
    In Andhra, I never heard of any such perceptions. May be it is the perception of some who are ‘curious’. If it was true, most of American population should have kidney stones, because they eat a lot of spinach and tomato combination (salads, sandwiches etc).

    Hope this helps to resolve the issue.

    Comment by other_curious — January 20, 2007 @ 10:42 am

  9. wow! This is an awesome combination. Luckily, I have all the ingredients with me and so am making this for the weekend. yummy, hot stew..hmm…excellent dish to have in this chill weather!

    Comment by Deepu — January 20, 2007 @ 11:21 am

  10. Not so fast Mr/Ms Other_curious.
    Look at this link.

    High doses of vitamin C (i.e., more than 500 mg per day) can result in high levels of oxalate in the urine (hyperoxaluria) and increase the risk for kidney stones. Oxalate is found in berries, vegetables (e.g., green beans, beets, spinach, squash, tomatoes), nuts, chocolate, and tea.

    Comment by Curious george — January 20, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

  11. Curious george,

    It seems you are doing lot of research on these topics. Do something like this: See how much spinach and how many pounds of tomatoes one has to eat to get more than 500mg of vitamin C.

    Then calculate your intake. I believe humans usually don’t consume that much greens in a day to exceed the limits you mentioned.

    If you still have time, use it wisely.

    Comment by other_curious — January 20, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

  12. Dear Indira,

    Trust you to enlighten me. “Plain Jane” green split-peas in something other than the ubiquitous “split-pea soup” of childhood (ie: boil for two days in broth made of tired-old ham bone)?!? How lovely. In the past year I’ve come a long way toward becoming completely vegetarian (with no small thanks to you and many other creative bloggers). I haven’t purchased a package of split-peas in ages. Looking forward to trying them again 🙂

    Happy New Year to you, V and K 🙂

    Comment by Linda — January 20, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  13. Indira,
    I hope those spam not coming anymore!
    Always like your recipes which display the beauty of simplicity, but don’t compromise any great taste! I was going to make your spanich paneer (one of my favorite), but with another wonderful dish in front, I face a dilemma again 😀

    Comment by gattina — January 21, 2007 @ 5:48 am

  14. Hi Indira –

    Long time since I left a comment. I lurk around without leaving a comment. Sorry about that! Also, your comment screen was closed, I guess. Anyways, happy to be here as ever! Loved the naanini and this stew recipe! I got started on a personal stories cum food blog just capturing pictures of what I cook – no recipes it’s too much work. Besides, I don’t feel my recipes will be worth given there are “pros” like yourself. :-)But, I will be happy to send recipes if someone is interested. I am having fun… ( First invitation to you to take a look at the blog. It will be an honor – I don’t have ribbons and scissors to offer to you! 🙂

    thanks for all inspiration – both to cook more and blog more!!!


    Comment by Desimom — January 21, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  15. hi indira, Love your site, Is the split peas dal the same as green vatana dal we get??

    Comment by stayathome — January 21, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  16. Hi Indira,

    Thanks for this great recipe. My husband and I both enjoyed it immensely. 🙂

    Comment by Sangeeta — January 24, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  17. I tried this with Black lentils ( those small ones not sure what it is called ). It was such a hearty meal last night. I added some tortilla chips to the stew and with grilled scrambled egg was truly delicious.:)

    Thank you Indira. After a tiring day at work , cooking such different , healthy and delicious meal is giving such a peace of mind.


    Comment by Soumya — January 25, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

  18. Just confirmed – they are black lentils.. 🙂

    Comment by Soumya — January 25, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  19. I tried this tonight and it came out great! No surprise using your recipes! I tweaked a little and added shallots instead of onions, 1 green chili plus a little chili powder and roasted some dry whole cumin with the shallots/garlic. My husband really liked it too!

    Comment by archana — January 28, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

  20. Hey Indira,

    Yesterday, prepared the tasty dish for our lunch with roti. Needless to say, it was superb.

    My 8 yr old son, was telling that it did not look very impressive, but, he was so stunned at the taste!!! Even, my 3 yr old was very comfortable in eating this side dish. We all loved it so much.

    FYI, did not split green and hence, used split yellow peas.

    Thanks a lot..

    Comment by Rama — January 29, 2007 @ 3:55 am

  21. hi Indira,
    My first time here, loved your place. Was wondering instead of buying green split peas (know the hindi name by chance?) can I use the masoor matki or the masoor dal or even toor dal by chance..? Have a big tin ful of the formers, dunno what to do? Would be great if you can let me know, thanks.
    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Vidya — January 29, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  22. Hi Indira,

    This is the first time i am experimenting with split peas. The pic was so inviting that I quickly bought a packet at the local store !

    The stew came out well – tasted fine. But it was little pasty as I pressure cooked it.

    Comment by Nithya — February 17, 2008 @ 7:34 am

  23. Just made this recipe tonight. It tastes brilliant. I was a bit heavy handed on the chili though.

    Comment by Chris — April 7, 2010 @ 5:34 am

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