There’s something so comforting about a hot cup of Dhal on a cool (Caribbean people say COLD) rainy Caribbean evening (or cold wintry night in Canada).. when all you want is something to warm your soul like your moms voice! The very same appreciation we have for this humble Dhal, when accompanied with rice and a curry dish of some sort. COMFORTING!
1 cup green split peas
1 cup lentils
2 cups yellow split peas
8 cloves garlic (divided)
2 pimento peppers (sliced)
2 shallots (sliced)
10-12 cups water
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Geera seeds (cumin)
6 Wiri Wiri peppers (optional)
1 scallion (chopped)
3/4 tablespoon salt (adjust)
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Additionally, I have this listed under the Vegan / Vegetarian category, but you will see curry chicken on the plate. Rest assured the 3 Peas Dhal itself is 100% vegan.
Go though the peas/lentils to make sure there’s no debris (sticks, pebbles etc) then wash and drain. In the meantime bring the water to a boil in a deep pot.
Pour the washed peas into the pot with the boiling water and bring back to a boil. Stir and let it go on a medium flame for 2- 3 minutes.
Skim off any froth/impurities at the top and discard. During this time you can prep the other ingredients.
With all the impurities skimmed off, add the salt, turmeric, 4 cloves garlic, shallots (add regular onion if you want), pimento peppers (optional as I know they will be hard to source), scallions and the WHOLE Wiri Wiri peppers. If you don’t have the Wiri Wiri (I’m lucky as I grow them in my garden)peppers , you can use an spicy pepper you have or like using. Or leave out the heat if you wish.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer (no need to cover). 1 hr and 15 minutes later, you can taste for salt (adjust if necessary). I used my traditional wooden swizzle stick and worked it a bit to get it somewhat smooth texture (watch the video below). An electric stick blender will work, But pulse or risk it becoming frothy. IMPORTANT! Remove the Wiri Wiri peppers before you swizzle, whisk or blend the dhal. If they break you will release the heat. You can discard then or remove and place back after the swizzle action. Nice little prizes for the heat lovers you may enjoy a plate or cup of this dhal.
NO! We’re not done. It’s time for the final step where we add that lovely finishing note as our ancestors did. Add the olive oil (vegetable oil will work) to a small pan, add the remaining garlic and cumin seeds and on to the med/high heat. Get to smoking (give the garlic some color), then pour directly onto the soup. This action is called Chunkay. We’re basically tempering the dhal with the cumin, garlic flavor. Do NOT skip this step!
Should the garlic burn during this step, that’s ok. We kinda want that actually.
Note: I forgot to mention above. When it was time to swizzle the dhal, I turned off the stove. But make sure the peas are tender and falling apart first.
Goes well with rice and curry, as a soup on it’s own, add flour dumplings near the end for a dhal + dumpling soup and you can certainly freeze the rest. It usually lasts about 1-2 months in my freezer before I get the craving again or one of my daughters gets to it.