I love my blog!  I love the fact that it pushes me to try new recipes in an effort to share them with you.    Lately I’ve been having alot of failures I must admit, but I keep trying.  I revisited old favorites, recipes I haven’t cooked in a long time and the results weren’t always great. Today I revisit Dhal.   Originating in India, dhal is a soup made with the yellow dhal/yellow split peas and seasoned with warm spices such as curry, tumeric and cumin.  To finish it off  you “chunkay” garlic, which is a process where you brown the garlic  in oil to bring out a slightly burnt flavor and you add the hot oil and garlic to the dhal. Soup? Sauce? Dip?  We Guyanese can admit that dhal fits into every category.  There is no right way to eat it.  I’ve had it in a mug by itself as a soup, used it as a dip for my roti or poured it over my rice to use as gravy.  You can’t go wrong, either way its very delicious. A classic way of pairing Dhal is rice with sauteed saltfish and baigan choka or Aloo with coconut milk on the side….seriously authentic, seriously delicious!!  As I wrote that last line, I had a vision of myself and my siblings sitting Indian style on the floor and eating this with our hands to much disdain of our mother.  But we loved it, it allowed us to mimic a part of our culture that we didn’t practice.  How could a child not enjoy eating with their hands??  Especially when our mom forbade us?? Today I will use a spoon, but I will enjoy it just the same and I hope you do.  

Get the Recipe Dhal

Servings: 4
5 from 1 vote


  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken stock or 1 chicken bouillon + 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 whole wiri wiri
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil


  • Soak split peas overnight. Discard water then boil split peas with 4 cups water on a medium fire for 1 hour or until peas are tender.
  • Remove from heat and pulse in a blender until smooth. Return to a medium fire and add chicken stock, 1 cup water, cumin, curry powder, pepper and salt. Cook for 10 mins.
  • While dhal cooks, in a sautee pan, heat 3 tablespoon oil and add sliced garlic. Fry until dark brown, do not burn or the garlic will add a bitter taste to the Dhal. This process should take no more than 3 mins.
  • Add garlic and oil to the Dhal, stir ;cook for an additional 10 mins.



*To make this meal vegetarian, simply omit the chicken stock or replace it with vegetable stock.
Cuisine: Guyanese
Author: Jehan Powell