Indian-Style Split Pea Soup

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Indian-Style Split Pea Soup

As the temperature rises in the northern hemisphere, salads increasingly replace soups on the table. In a way this is a shame, especially as cooler spring days are heightened by a light bowl of spicy soup and also because there are some cool soups to temper the heat. On the other hand, it's all good.

Indian-Style Yellow Split Pea SoupIndian-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 29, 2008

Simple but elegant, this light, creamy and zesty Indian-spiced split pea soup is perfect for cool and warm weather

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

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  • 3/4 cup yellow split peas or split peas and toor dal
  • 2 tablespoons basmati rice
  • 7 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • generous handful of hot peppers (serrano, jalapeño or green chilies)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Toasted spice oil:
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Combine all of the soup ingredients except the salt, pepper and parsley in a large saucepan or soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the split peas begin to break apart. Remove from heat and purée the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a countertop blender. Return the soup to the stove, turn the heat down to low, and season with salt and pepper.

  • Put the mustard seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and cover. Shake the pan occasionally. When the seeds begin to pop, add the cumin seeds and oil. Stir for a few seconds and then pour the oil and seed mixture into the soup. Cover the soup and let sit for a few minutes.

  • Stir the soup and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

Indian-Style Split Pea Soup


Anonymous said...

This is my style of soup. Oh, it is from Yamuna Devi. No wonder. I love her soups.

Johanna GGG said...

lovely soup - but did wonder what is the difference between such a soup and a dahl in Indian cooking? Am looking forward to hearing more about yamuna devi - wish I could browse one of her books here - am on the look out

Andhra Flavors said...

:) Lovely soup and great pics too..

Suganya said...

I second you, Lisa. The cookbook is quite comprehensive.

Ivy said...

Lovely recipe. I have bookmarked it for colder days.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lisa,

I envy you-I wouldn’t have touched radishes with a barge pole as a child! (Actually, well into early adulthood!) My loss, for sure.
Glad to have you stop by again; thank you for your compliments!

(Incidentally, loved your goat cheese balls; they were a big hit here!)

Cynthia said...

This is such a treat! There's nothing quite like split-pea soup.

Lisa Turner said...


Dals are used in various ways in Indian cuisine. I encourage you to obtain a copy of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. It's very informative.

Anu, glad to hear you liked the cheese balls. They didn't last long at my house!

Anonymous said...

Look forward to hearing about Devi's book. I'm interested in expanding my somewhat meager cookbook selection and your suggestions would be ever so helpful!

This soup looks great. I like the Indian flavored twist. Ordinary split pea soup can only be exciting for so long.

Shubha Ravikoti said...

Wow lisa that soup looks awesome....

This sounds similar to the muligatawny soup recipe... that i often make... delicious...:)

rhid said...

I adore split pea soup - I mean seriously I adore it. The sad thing is a lot of places I go have only split pea and ham (bar Indian places yay!) I'm a huge fan of the amazing substance this soup has - thanks for posting a great recipe!

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

Lisa said...

Looks fantastic!! :)

Mentioned your recipe here in a post!

Anonymous said...

Do you soak your split peas before cooking them?

Lisa Turner said...

Most of the time, I don't, though it depends on the recipe. Sometimes I just soak them for a few hours. Whole beans on the other hand, I always soak.