Indian Spiced

What I’m about to show you isn’t the prettiest food in the world.

Not so photogenic, but TOTALLY delicious! Indian restaurants are one of my favorite places to go out to dinner, but I never really make it at home. But a few weeks ago, I was craving some Indian spices, so I just went for it made a version of a Lentil Dhal. I don’t know why I didn’t put this on the blog sooner, but better late than never!

But way before I made this, I took a trip to my local Indian market. Seriously, if you ever need any spices, get them at the Indian Market! Gone are the days of $4 for a tiny glass cylinder of spices. Just look at all the goodies I found!

From left to right, I got curry powder, chili powder, and cumin powder. Grand Total = $4.50. That’s right, 10.5 oz of spices for $4.50!! You really can’t beat that. And I know that is A LOT of spices. But, if you have some Indian food loving friends, you could split up the spices and get just the amount you needed for like $2. And at the same Indian market, I got the lentils to make my Dahl with.

Ok, I don’t really know if what I got were lentils… I really just picked up a bag (5 pounds to be exact) of dried beans that looked like lentils, but were called “Toordal” or Pigeon Split Peas. They were delicious, but probably not lentils, considering the time it took to cook these beauties. (Be advised: This is NOT a quick dinner…this is a whole afternoon of cooking… but well worth it.) But I was advised by the workers in the Indian Market that these split pigeon peas were very high and protein and very healthy (score!).

Next time you are craving some Indian food, try this vegetarian dish! It is creamy, filling, and the spices really give it a depth of flavor that is hard to come by. You won’t be disappointed!

Toordal Dahl

Print this recipe!


  • 1 cup split pigeon peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 7 small tomatoes, whole
The night or a few hours before you want to make this dish, soak the pigeon peas in water. Change out the water 2 – 3 times. Right before you are ready to make the dish, rinse the pigeon peas under water until the water runs clear (about 4 – 5 rinses).
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are lightly golden brown and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.
Next, add in your pigeon peas, 3 cups of water, and the turmeric, chili powder, cumin and coriander. Turn the heat to medium low and cover. About every 20 – 30 minutes, you will want to stir the mixture . If it the pigeon peas begin to look dry, you will want to add some water, about 1/2 – 1 cup at a time. Overall, I added more water about 3 times, totaling about 5 cups of water in all. Cook on medium low until the peas are tender and very thick, about 3 hours.
When the mixture is nice and thick and the peas are tender, add in the lemon juice and tomatoes and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes. Serve with brown rice, vegetables, and whole wheat naan.

One thought on “Indian Spiced

  1. My new roommate is indian and her mom cooked up Indian food while we were moving this weekend. SO good! If you want any more recipes let me know 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *