Split Pea Spinach Dhal – Take Your Pulse

Are you wearing a fitness tracker? You know your step count, your blood pressure, heart rate, how long and how well you sleep and even your calorie consumption. Admit it, you obsess. You sweat the small stuff. You don’t get that sleep you can measure because you are stressing over missing your daily step count. This messes with the BP and the HR too. It gets worse, you use the app to track your friends. You stress because they are doing more than you. This raises your BP and HR even higher. It is definitely time to take your pulse.

One of my favourite pulses is yellow split peas. They have a fantastic colour and are a great conveyor of flavour. They, like all lentils and pulses are pretty good for your heart health too. One of the tastiest ways to use them is in this Split Pea and Spinach Dahl.


  • 200 gms of yellow split peas
  • 150 gms of spinach
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic pasted
  • 3 cm piece of ginger pasted
  • 1 handful of coriander

The only downside of preparing split peas is the time they take to simmer. You can usefully use this time to walk around your island unit. In the 30 minute simmer, you should manage a few hundred steps allowing for stopping to stir the dhal occasionally and for repetitive obsessive checking your progress on your tracker. For this, best to follow the instructions on the pack as they do vary.

Those split peas need to be soaked. An excuse for a pouring shot.

While you are walking around the kitchen, get a family member to prepare the rest of the ingredients. They will need to fry the spices in a high sided pan large enough to accommodate the dhal. When it releases some lovely aromas and before the garlic and ginger paste burns, it will be ready to add the dhal mixture.

When you have finished your walk, add the split pea dhal. They will be almost soft but with a bit of texture. Then add the spinach.

This is a lovely colour and could be enjoyed on its own.

This will take a bit of wilting as may you after all that exercise. When it wilts enough, stir it into the dhal. This is a perfectly good vegetarian dish on is own.

The spinach wilts a lot. Don’t be put off by the big quantity.

However, I served it with some Indian style spiced lamb chops. More of this in my next post. Now go off and finish your 30,000 daily steps. You do do 30,000, don’t you?

This is a top dish. Worth the bit of exercise you get while cooking it.

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Latest comments
  • Yum! Food of the gods with some nice hot parathas and a Kingfisher.

  • Conor: you have just made and pictured my perfect dinner! I love dhal, usually use the yellow lentils and have made it virtually weekly since I first began cooking. Actually largely use it instead of butter on my breads and flatbreads ! Have never added spinach, another firm favourite – that recipe will make a great side – thanks ! Fitness: methinks you well know how I think of that but must admit I have never felt the need to be fashionable enough to get a tracker . . . probably would forget to use the blessed thing most times anyways 🙂 ! But, dear Conor . . . perhaps you cyclists have the need for 30,000 steps . . . most of us ordinary humanoids hope we are managing 10,000 . .

  • Funny… “La Dalle” is “The Hunger” in French slang, avoir la dalle, having the hunger. Which is what I am having right now!

  • Very witty and very tasty. The pouring shot completes it: a true Conor classic! I’m doing a lot of Mexican food at the moment (besides the usual Italian), but you are reminding me that I shouldn’t forget about Indian food.

  • 30,000 steps? Slacker! I’d much rather cook than count steps though. Stirring counts, right? Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking about trying Dhai as they sell premade (gasp) packets at the store. Trying to cook it, that is, not buy it. So this is a timely post. Now off to get my workout in for the day!

  • Thirty thousand…who wants to be that athletic? 😁 I do wear a Fitbit and it buzzes me when I’ve been sitting too long working on the blog so it gets me up and moving. Your spinach dhal sounds good and the color certainly brightens up a plate of lamb chops.

  • From the sound of that first paragraph, I think you know me better than I had suspected… 😉 I would love to cook more Indian inspired food I even bought a whole pantry’s worth of spices but unfortunately certain persons in my household aren’t partial.

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