Recipe courtesy of David Rosengarten

Dal--Indian Split Pea Soup and Fresh Tomato Relish

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 main-course servings.
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For the soup:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup finely minced onion (about 2 medium)

4 teaspoons finely minced garlic

4 teaspoons finely minced ginger root

1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno, or to taste

2 cups yellow split peas, washed

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

8 cups chicken stock

12 cooked shrimp

For the relish:

1 cup finely diced fresh tomato

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno

2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, the garlic, the ginger root and the jalapeno. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the split peas, the coriander, the cumin, the celery seed, the cinnamon and the clove. Mix well. Add the chicken stock, stir again, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer slowly, partially covered, for about one hour, or until split peas are just soft. You may need to add more chicken stock if peas become too thick and dry.
  2. While soup is cooking, prepare the relish: Toss all six ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste.
  3. With a wooden spoon, crush a few of the soft peas in the soup against the side of the pot. Stir well. If the soup is too thick, add a little chicken stock. Season to taste. Ladle the hot soup into four wide soup bowls. Mix in most of the tomato relish, saving about 1/4 cup. Place three shrimp in the center of each bowl. Divide the remaining tomato relish among the four bowls, placing it in the center of the shrimp. Top that with a few fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.