June 25, 2013

Yellow Split Pea Curry Over Rice

Yellow Split Pea Curry Over Rice
Photo by Monika Grabkowska / Unsplash

A recipe by Craig Poirier.

Yellow Split Pea Curry Over Rice… Via Facebook 😉

Craig Poirier is a friend of mine. I’ve never met him in person. We have only met via Facebook. But I know that Craig is a great guy and a good Catholic. He also happens to be a professionally-trained chef.

I am grateful to Craig for his example as a dedicated husband and father who depends on God and practices his faith. I am also grateful that he shares some of his recipes with me from time to time. Like this Yellow Split Pea Curry over Rice, for example.

A few weeks ago, he sent the following message to me via Facebook. And he didn’t leave me hanging… the recipe followed soon after. Thanks, Craig!

“I just made a Yellow Split Pea Curry and served it over rice. I also made naan (indian bread) and cooked it on the Baking Steel. It was great!”

Its a vegetarian recipe. Great for Lent! Or you can add some chicken to it. I usually add chicken, cauliflower florets, and frozen peas. Enjoy!” – Craig Poirier


  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 pound potatoes (Yukon gold or russet), peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (soak them in cold water to prevent browning; drain before use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 to 4 dried red cayenne chiles (like chile de arbol), stems discarded
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium-size tomato, cored, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt


  1. Measure the peas into a medium-size saucepan. Cover it up with water and rinse the grains by rubbing them in-between your fingertips (I just use the fingers of one hand to do it). The water will become cloudy and may have some debris like the odd skin from the peas (even though they are skinless) or dust from the packaging. Drain this water. Repeat three to four times until the water, upon rinsing the peas, remains clearer. Measure and pour 4 cups water into the pan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. You will see some foam arise; scoop it out and discard it.
  2. Add the potatoes and turmeric to the peas, stirring once or twice. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Stew the mélange, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender but still firm-looking and the potatoes are cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. While the peas and potatoes cook, preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan feels hot (a palm held close to the bottom will feel the heat), usually will take 2 to 4 minutes, sprinkle the chiles, coriander, and cumin into it. Toast the spices, shaking the pan very frequently, until the chiles blacken and smell smoky-hot and the seeds turn reddish brown and smell incredibly aromatic (nutty with citrus undertones), 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer this spice blend to a blender jar and plunk in the tomato. Puree, scraping the insides of the jar as needed, to make a smooth, reddish brown paste with a smoky aroma that is sure to knock your socks off.
  4. Once the peas are cooked, scrape the spicy (as in well-seasoned) tomato paste into the pan. I usually pour some of the liquid from the pan into the blender jar and process it for a brief second to wash out all the goodness into the water. Pour the washings back into the pot. Stir in the cilantro and salt.
  5. Crank up the heat to medium-high and vigorously boil the dal, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to mingle and the sauce to slightly thicken, 12 to 15 minutes. If you wish for a thicker sauce, mash some of the peas and potatoes with the back of your spoon. Serve warm.


You can find Craig Poirier’s recipe for the Naan – the flatbread of India – by clicking here. It goes great with this Yellow Split Pea Curry over Rice! 😉