Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry

Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry

World Vegetarian Classics by Celia Brooks Brown has become a favorite cookbook of mine. There are over 250 straightforward vegetarian recipes from around the globe, and each one is adapted to the modern kitchen. The instructions are easy to follow, the pictures divine and each chapter begins with a bit of history on each region's vegetarian traditions. This book has served me well when I wanted a quick but flavorful dinner idea, and also when I wanted something to serve to esteemed dinner guests. Each recipe has a certain elegance, even the most basic dishes, and you simply can't fail to be inspired as you flip through the colorful pages.

Wanting to make a special meal for a dear friend on his birthday, I decided upon these split pea dumplings with a coconut curry sauce. This dish is from Mauritius and the Indian influence on this African island's culinary traditions is very much apparent here. There are a few steps to this recipe, but it is truly a delight to make and well worth the effort when you sit down with your plate to savor the little curry-coated pea cakes on a bed of hot rice.

Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut CurrySplit Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry
Recipe by
Adapted from World Vegetarian Classics: Over 200 Essential International Recipes for the Modern Kitchen
Cuisine: Mauritian
Published on October 23, 2008

Soft, sweet and earthy yellow split pea dumplings served with a delicious tangy and spicy coconut milk curry sauce

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

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  • generous 1/2 cup chana dal or yellow split peas
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • oil for frying
Curry sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch of ground cayenne
  • seeds from 4 brown cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup plain whole fat yogurt, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (2 14 oz cans) coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • Rinse the chana dal or yellow split peas and soak in enough water to cover overnight.

  • Drain and rinse the chana dal or split peas. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, ginger and chilies. Add a teaspoon of water and process until you get a smooth paste. Now add the flour, baking powder, salt and cilantro. Process until well combined.

  • Heat a 1/2-inch of oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan until it is hot but not smoking. When a small bit of the batter sizzles, you will know it is ready. Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter into the oil and fry until they are golden, taking care to flip them with tongs to ensure they brown evenly. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and keep them warm in an oven heated to 225°F.

  • For the curry, begin by toasting the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until they darken a bit. This should take a minute or two. Transfer to a blender or food processor along with the garlic, ginger, chilies, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom pod seeds, salt and yogurt. Process until smooth.

  • Pour into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a few minutes to thicken. Now whisk in the coconut milk and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium-low again, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the frozen peas, cook for another few minutes, and add the dumplings to the pan.

  • Serve dumplings and generous spoonfuls of the curry sauce over a bed of hot fresh cooked white rice.

Makes 4 servings

Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous. Just what my slightly weary body needs.

Have just put the book on my list - though I culled, naturally, that means there is a little more space to fill. You've recommended this book often enough for me to justify the purchase!

Lisa Turner said...

Oh, it's worth it Lucy! I bought it when I was out of cookbook space and it's becoming a favorite of mine. Lots to read and some fantastic ideas that are easy to adapt to your preferences.

Dana Treat said...

My husband and I lived in London for a year and I was able to take a couple of classes from Celia. She is as charming in person as her books are! Great post!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Lisa this is a great idea. I love cilantro and this is almost like an Indian version of falafel - if you will allow the extremely loose comparison - just better!

Priya Suresh said...

WOw Lisa, needless to say they looks fabulous...lovely colour...

Sia said...

bookmarked... thanks lisa :)

indosungod said...

Lisa, that protein delight in coconut sauce is something to be savored sure. Looks great.

Johanna GGG said...

I was just browsing through one of her books in the library this week and thinking how good it all looked - and this dish looks excellent - will be bookmarking it

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else here. . . this is a definite winner (and bookmarked!). It looks like the perfect meal to me. :)

Ivy said...

What a lovely recipe. Pity I can't find all the ingredients.

Srivalli said...

Oh so lovely lisa..thanks for sharing!

Laavanya said...

This curry is so unique - thanks for introducing me to this. Got to try soon.

Sangeeth said...

wow! yummy cury Lisa...I have bookmarked it :) sure will be a hit at my house...

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

This looks very delicious! I will have to get back to cooking from this recipe book, in fact just recipe books in general and stop using them as fiction! I am just so inspired by reading blogs that I rarely cook recipes out of my books any more. I must make the time.

Ashley M. said...


Praneetha said...

First of all, thank u Lisa for visiting my blog. your blog looks gr8 and it's good to know u r specializing in Indian cuisine. These dumplings look gr8. Mouthwatering.

test it comm said...

I think I have only ever used split peas in soups. I am going to have to try something new with them. These split pea dumplings look good.

zlamushka said...

nice dumplings in coconut curry. Yummmeee, when was it I was invited over for dinner? ;-)

Ivy said...

I have an Award for you to collect.

Mallika said...

Looks divine. I love the idea of dumplings in a coconut curry.

eatme_delicious said...

Oh my that looks really delicious! I need to get that cookbook.

Harriette said...

I have a story to tell you:

I invited a couple of carnivores over for dinner the other night, so I made a lovely meat dish.

I also made this dish for myself (I'm a vegetarian), and for the others to try.

My guests raved and raved about this dish, while I didn't hear much about the meat dish!

Next time I invite them to my house I'm going to make a bunch of your delicious recipes!

Thanks so much!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Really liked the split pea dumplings. the curry sauce was less successful. My yogurt curdled and the cumin and coriander were too much with the smaller amount of coconut milk I tried to use. Will make again with another sauce though. Thank you. Love the inspirational photos on your site.