Download the recipe for Yellow Pea Dhal from Tastes of Durban!
 More about the book!

Tastes of Durban, by David Bird and Deshnie Govender, with photographs by Sean Calitz, is out in July 2018 from Penguin Random House.

Durban’s rich, multicultural heritage is reflected in the foods that are to be found throughout the city, from spicy, aromatic Indian cuisine and fish and seafood to dishes influenced by the Portuguese, Zulu nation and British.

Tastes of Durban is a celebration of these foods that can be savoured here while on a visit and then recreated once you return home.

This dish, which is in all essence a delicious soup, is excellent with breyanis although it can also be eaten on its own or with crusty bread.

Yellow Pea Dhal 

Serves 2

This dish, which is in all essence a soup, is excellent with breyanis although it can also be eaten on its own or with crusty bread. When eaten on its own, the recipe will make two portions.


1 cup yellow pea dhal
1 tsp turmeric
1 tomato, grated
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 dried red chilli, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf


1. Fill a saucepan with water (about 6 cups), add the pea dhal, turmeric and tomato and boil until the peas are soft (add extra water as it boils off). The peas should be mushy when they are ready. Remove the pea mixture from the saucepan and store in a bowl.
2. In the same saucepan, add the vegetable oil, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry until the onion is golden brown.
3. Return the pea mixture to the saucepan, add the salt and bay leaf and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. The dhal should have the consistency of a soup when it is served.
4. Dhal is usually served with breyanis, though it can be served with plain boiled white rice as well.

Categories Cookery Non-fiction South Africa

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