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Easy Peasy Crock Pot Dhal (Daal) Recipe (Split Pea Curry Soup)


Easy Peasy Crock Pot Dhal

Easy Peasy Crock Pot Dhal (Daal)

Photo © [S Khalsa]

Traditional langar almost always includes dhal (daal), a curry soup made from any of a wide variety of split lentils. This delicious vegan easy peasy dhal recipe is simple to make. Just put split peas and all other ingredients into a crock pot, turn the slow cooker on high heat and in just 3 1/2 hours it's ready to eat.

*Chana Dal Masal gives this split pea dhal recipe it distinctive flavor, however the most important ingredient when preparing any Sikhism recipe is to reflect on the divine, and follow eight guide lines for langar during preparation and cooking.

Easy Peasy Crock Pot Dhal (Daal) is perfect for busy moms, dads and grandparents, on the go who wish to serve a quick and tasty langar. Everybody in the family loves this recipe, even the youngest, and pickiest, eaters ask for more.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 4 quarts or 6-8 servings


  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 3 - 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 green jalapeno pepper (green chili)
  • 1/2 red jalapeno pepper (red chili) (optional)
  • 1 whole Thai chili (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons *Chana Dal Masala
  • 1 pinch cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt


When I first learned to cook, I came across recipes which gave approximate amounts such as 2-8 tablespoons of shortening for biscuit recipe, I became frustrated and worried wanting to know exactly how much to use, but soon learned that any amount within the parameters given worked, more just meant a richer result. Similarly this recipe is very adjustable, is meant to be easy and to take the stress out of cooking. So feel free to make appropriate substitutions and use what you have on hand in your kitchen. (I'll make suggestions with instructions).

Rinse Dhal
Rinse about 2 cups of split peas or dhal until clear. Yellow and green spit peas make a pretty combination but feel free to use either, if you only have one on hand. Also you can use split moong hal (mung bean), split massoor dhal a kind of red lentil, split chana dhal (chickpeas) or any combination of any of the above. Chana dhal may take longer to cook.

Add Water
Put rinsed dhal in a six quart crock pot and add water. Fill crock pot with about 3 - 4 quarts of water so that the crock pot is 2/3 to 3/4 full. More water will result in a thinner soup. Less water will result in a thicker soup.

Add Optional Olive Oil
Adding oil will make the dhal soup a bit creamier, but also adds calories, and is perfectly delicious without it. Any other vegetable oil can be used instead of olive oil, depending on what you have on hand. Butter can also be substituted and is tasty, but of course the recipe could no longer be considered vegan.

Add Cumin
Add a pinch of whole cumin seed to the split pea dhal and water in the crock pot. Substitute a pinch (about 1/4 tsp) of cumin seed powder if you don't have whole seeds.

Add Onions and Garlic
Finely dice onion and garlic, then add to crock pot. Half a large onion or a whole medium onion with 3 small or 2 large cloves of garlic gives a lovely flavor.

Add Chili Peppers
Mince jalapeno chili peppers, and add with whole Thai chili to crock pot. Use red and green chilies for color if you have them, but either one can be used. Thai chilies are very tasty and add a delicious flavor but are quite spicy, so its best to whole chili and remove before serving. If you love very hot spicy food, and don't mind risking a hiccup or two, go ahead and mince the Thai chili and add to the crock pot, just be sure not to eat it whole.

Add Optional Ginger
I've done it both ways. If you like the flavor of ginger, and have it on hand go head and give it a try. Mince a slice ginger about about and inch long and 1/2 inch thick and add to the crock pot, or maybe next time.

*Add Chana Dal Masala
Be careful not to confuse *Chana Dal Masala, with Chana Masala as they have different flavors. Both are delicious, but *Chana Dal Masala spice is blended especially for use with split peas or split dhal. It has a turmeric with red chili powder base and includes other exotic flavors, like cassia, clove, nutmeg and mace, which give the dhal a superb distinctive taste that is hard to replicate, especially for a novice.

Add Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
Any table salt may be used in place of sea salt. If you are cooking for a salt restricted diet, use half the salt while cooking and salt to taste when eating. Use a pepper grinder or measure about 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and add to crock pot.

Add Tomato Paste
Tomato paste gives the richest flavor, however you can substituent a couple fresh tomatoes, or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes, or even a couple tablespoons of ketchup in a pinch and add to the crock pot.

Cook Split Pea Dhal.
Cover the crock pot and set heat to high. Cook for about 3 1/2 hours. When split peas or dhal are tender turn off the heat. Check dhal at about 3 hours. If you time it just right the peas or dhal will retain their shape and color for a very appealing look. Split pea dhal is every bit as as tasty if it cooks longer, however colors will blend together if peas cook long enough to disintegrate completely. don't have a crock pot, Try this stove top or in your pressure cooker.

  • Stove top - Boil split peas or dhal. Meanwhile while chop onions, garlic, ginger and chilies and saute in oil with spices and tomato, then add to dhal and cook for about an hour or until split peas are tender.
  • Pressure cooker - Add all ingredients together in pressure cooker pot, Close lid. Bring the heat up and shake for only 5 minutes. Turn off heat source. Reduce pressure and it's done.

Easy Peasy Crock Pot Split Pea Dhal Recipe goes great with with either flatbread roti or Basmati rice and makes 6-8 delicious servings. Enjoy!

*Chana Dal Masasla Sources

Can't find Chana Dal Masala in your local grocery store, Indian food market, or not sure what to look for?
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Crock Pot Resources

Crockpot 101 How to Use a Slow Cooker Basics
Top 10 Guide Picks - Slow Cookers and Crock Pots

Crock Pot and Slow Cooker Sources
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