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Yellow split peas, courgette, mint & olive salad



  • Yellow split peas (channa daal) 100-150g (3.5-5.5oz)
  • Plum or other firm tomatoes 2, pulp kept separate and flesh diced
  • Oil 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon for the courgettes
  • Black mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves 15-20, preferably fresh, shredded; if using dried, soak in water for 10-12 minutes, and dry throughly before shredding
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic 2-3 cloves, chopped
  • Sesame seeds 2 heaped tablespoons
  • Peanuts 2 heaped tablespoons
  • Courgettes 2, diced into 1cm (half inch) pieces
  • Red chilli powder half teaspoon
  • Mixed pitted olives 80-100g (3-3.5oz) halved or quartered 
  • Cos or little gem lettuce 1 small, roughly chopped
  • Fresh mint 15-20 leaves, torn
  • Lime juice from half lime
  • Sea salt 1 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper half teaspoon


  1. Rinse the yellow split peas and soak in plenty of cold water for 3-4 hours. Once the split peas are well expanded and have absorbed water, drain and boil in a saucepan with a litre (1.75 pints) of water and the tomato pulp for 5-6 minutes or until just done. Drain, cool down and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and garlic. After 2-3 minutes, when the garlic changes colour slightly, turn the heat down a little. Add the sesame seeds and peanuts and fry, stirring often to prevent burning, until both change colour to a pale brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. As soon as the peanuts and sesame change colour, add the drained yellow split peas and saute, stirring well until the split peas are nearly dry, about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  5. Place the diced courgette in a bowl with the red chilli powder and combine with the teaspoon of oil. Roast the courgette for 6-8 minutes or slightly caramelized, then remove and set aside to cool.
    1. Place the remaining the ingredients in a large serving dish with the lentils and mix well just before serving. Check the seasoning and add more oil before serving, if needed.