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Three-Bean Dal

Chef Way Whole black lentils, split Bengal gram (split dried chickpeas) and red kidney beans all need to soak overnight for this soothing, creamy bean dish.

Easy Way Quick-cooking split yellow peas and canned beans make this recipe fast but still totally satisfying.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1 cup yellow split peas (7 ounces)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the split peas and a generous pinch of salt and boil until just beginning to break down, about 50 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and cayenne and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook until the tomato is slightly broken down, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, butter and water and bring to a boil. Stir in the yellow split peas, chickpeas and kidney beans and season with salt. Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Serve with basmati rice and naan.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo A© Lucy Schaeffer Published October 2008

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