Ten reasons why dhal (spicy legume soup) is my superfood; and my recipe!


I love dhal. I make a giant pot of it on the weekend and eat at least one bowl every day. It is my superfood and it’s delicious. You can make dhal (or dal) so many different ways. I base mine from a Guyanese recipe, and I like it very spicy. But I make it with no pepper too and it’s just as good.

This vegan and gluten-free dish is super low in calorie, high in fiber and a good source of protein.

There are 10 sources to improve health in dhal – and they are the reasons why this is my superfood. Some of the health benefits of the ingredients include weight management, heart, and digestive health, and boosted immunity. The full nutrition and health benefits are listed below the recipe.

Some recipes use lentils. I make it both ways, but for some reason, I prefer it with spit peas.

Note: This is spicy to very spicy unless you cut down or omit the peppers

Dhal recipe

Spices, spicy, seasonings  in wooden box, top view. Black grunge

Makes: 6 servings
Total time: 1 and a half hours, cook time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, prep time: 20 minutes


  • 8 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt or to your preference
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1-2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1-3 habanero, wiri-wiri or chili peppers, omit the pepper if you don’t want it spicy. I use 3 habanero peppers because they’re hotter.

Note: If you want to use lentils instead of split peas, use 6 cups of water instead of 8 or it will be too thin and watery.



  1. Rinse split peas and set them aside.
  2. Chop onion, garlic, tomato and peppers.
  3. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil (can be done at the same time you are doing steps 1 and 2).
  4. Add split peas, onion, garlic, tomato, peppers and olive oil (if using) to boiling water.
  5. Add spices and salt (I like a bit more salt in my food, so I start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed).
  6. Boil peas for 45 minutes until peas are soft to the touch. Blend with hand blender to achieve a smooth texture.  Return to a slow boil for another 15-20 minutes until it gets slightly thick.
  7. Turn heat off when you have reached your desired texture.
  8. In a very small pot or pan, heat oil and fry the whole cumin seeds until they become slightly burnt.  Immediately add it to the dhal.

Important: Be careful to cover the pot as you add the fried cumin seeds, as the hot oil will steam when it hits the dhal.

Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories:132 g
  • Fat: 5.2 g or 2.4 g without 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Ten health benefits


  1. Split peas: Help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and support heart and digestive health.
  2. Hot pepper: Protects against stress and certain diseases, help with weight and pain management, and inflammation.
  3. Tomatoes: Are an antioxidant and improve heart and bone health.
  4. Cumin: Improves immunity, skin and anemia and helps with respiratory disorders.
  5. Turmeric: Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Garam masala: Helps boost immunity, promotes weight and pain management, and helps with heart burn and stomach pains.
  7. Curry powder: protects against Alzheimer’s and assists in digestion.
  8. Garlic: Improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and immunity, and helps reduce stress
  9. Onions: Improve bone density and cardiovascular functioning, and is an anti-inflammatory.
  10. Cilantro (coriander): Is an antioxidant.

Protein, carbs, and fat: As mentioned in my post The basics for a proper diet, these are key building blocks for your body’s functioning.

36 replies »

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  2. Thanks for sharing this! I come from a Caribbean background but have not a clue about cooking any of these traditional dishes 😀I see you have other traditional recipes posted which I can’t wait to get the recipes! My boyfriend is Guyanese and he is always asking me when will I cook something like this hehe 😝

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! Hahaha! Other than curry and dhal, I just started making them in the past year so I was in the same boat!. I was born in Canada so if you do try to make any of these for your boyfriend, either tell him ahead of time that it’s a Canadian-Guyanese person that made them…. or use 3-4 times the oil and salt – and don’t ever use chicken breast like I do 🙂 hahaha


      • Lol ha no worries he is a Canadian Guyanese as well so I’m sure he will enjoy!! Ha!! Nice tip, I remember I tried making curry chicken before but using only chicken breast which ! I don’t think work well with that, it got so dry but I am so use to gravitating to chicken breast or fleshy boneless/skinless meat!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol! Then he will! Except I also use chicken breast for it and I just add more olive oil because it’s a good oil (and just throw in some more of the curry and garam masala for more flavour). I had some complaints at first but then they realized it still tasted good and was far healthier. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out!

        Liked by 1 person

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