Yellow split peas are the dried, peeled and split seeds of the pea. They look and taste like corn kernels. They are sometimes called split Bengal gram, or, confusingly, they are sometimes called channa dal, so do not confuse them with chickpeas.

Channa dal is delicious, nutritious and easily digested. It is used in soups, salads, curries, dal, savouries, sweets and rice dishes. In fact, almost everywhere.

Because of its taste and texture, channa dal is often used in highly-spiced dal dishes.

Yellow split peas are readily available from supermarkets. Always check the packaging to get as fresh as possible, as old dal can be harder to cook. Reject any packets that have signs of moisture or infestation. The best dals come from good health food shops.

Channa dal will keep for several months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.

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