Pasta in a Split Pea Sauce (Dal Dhokli)

Total Time
1hr 44mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 34 mins

Entered for ZWT. By Neeru Row Kavi, found in Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian". From pre-history Indus valley civilization, when the area was known for its cultivation of wheat and split peas. It is a staple today, even in the desert areas. It is a spicy, thick split pea soup with wide noodles that is more main dish than soup. Serve for lunch or supper with a simple green salad. The split peas should be toovar dal to be most authentic. The noodles are traditionally homemade, cut from large rounds of rolled-out whole wheat dough, the same as used for chapatis (Indian Griddle Flatbreads, Indian Griddle Flatbreads (Chapatis) #483402). These rounds are then cut into noodles, left to dry off briefly, and then dropped into the soup. Less authentic, fettuccine or egg noodles may be substituted. The tomatoes in this recipe would have been added to the recipe after the 16th century. Jaffrey peels the tomatoes with a sharp paring knife as if they were apples. The sauce can be made ahead of time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the toovar dal (tour dal is closest ingredient name on and 3 cups of water in a heavy pan and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn the heat down to low, and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Close the lid for the last 15 minutes. Mash the dal against the sides of the pan and set aside.
  2. Put the 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan or saute pan and set over medium-high heat.
  3. When hot, put in the asafetida.
  4. Five seconds later, put in the cumin seeds.
  5. Wait another 5 seconds and put in the tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes for a minute.
  6. Now add the turmeric and mix it inches.
  7. Add the green chile, cilantro, salt, and 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 7-8 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft.
  8. Now add the tomatoes to the cooked dal.
  9. Add another 1 1/2 cups of water and the lemon juice. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer 15 minutes. THIS MUCH CAN BE DONE AHEAD OF TIME AND THE SOUP REHEATED WHEN NEEDED.
  10. Just before you sit down to eat, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot.
  11. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and stir. Drop in pasta and stir.
  12. While the pasta cooks, put the 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds pop, a matter of seconds, put in the chile.
  13. Stir once or twice, or until the chile darkens, and pour the oil and seasonings into a large bowl.
  14. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mustard seed-chile mixture and mix.
  15. As soon as the pasta is ready, drain it and put it into the bowl with the oil. Toss thoroughly.
  16. To serve, stir the soup from the bottom and put about 3/4 cup in each of 6 soup plates. Divide the pasta into 6 portions and put a mound in the center of each plate. Serve immediately.