Split pea and tomato sauce with noodles

Madhur Jaffrey loves this spicy, thick split pea soup with homemade noodles, known as dal dhokri, by Bobby's Restaurant in Leceister
Split pea and tomato sauce with noodles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the sauce

  • 125 g toovar dal, washed and drained
  • 675 g tomatoes, roughly chopped and puréed in a blender
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp olive oil sunflower oil
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida, available from Schwartz and specialist shops
  • 2 hot dried chillies
  • 2 tbsp raw peanuts, with skin
  • 2.5 cm cassia bark or cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar, to taste

For the noodles

  • 100 g flour, plus more to dust
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp green chillies, very finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Tips and Suggestions

You could make the sauce a day in advance, then cover and refrigerate


1. For the sauce: Put the dal and 475ml of water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes, or until the dal is tender.

2. Mash up the dal with a potato masher and mix it with the tomatoes, tomato purée and 475ml
more water in a bowl.

3. Place a larger 15cm pan over a medium-high heat and pour in the oil. As soon as it is hot, put in the following in quick succession - first the asafoetida and dried chillies, then the peanuts, cassia and cloves, then the mustard seeds, then the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.

4. Stir in the dal and tomato mixture and add all the remaining ingredients for the sauce, with salt and sugar to taste. Bring to a boil, then stir and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring now and then, or until the peanuts have become tender and the sauce is amalgamated. Set aside.

5. When you are preparing to eat, pour the sauce into a 15-20cm pan and stir in 350ml of water. Set aside.

6. For the noodles: It is best to make the noodles shortly before you eat them. Put all the ingredients in a bowl in the order listed. Mix and rub the flour with your fingertips to incorporate the oil, so it begins to look a little like coarse breadcrumbs. Slowly add about 3½ tablespoons of water, or just enough to form a dough. Work the dough for a minute, then form it into a smooth ball. Break it into three equal pieces and roll each into a smaller ball.

7. Flatten one ball into a patty, dip it in flour and roll it out into a 19cm round on a well-floured surface. With a sharp knife, first cut it lengthways into 5cm wide strips, then across at 4cm intervals to achieve stubby, rectangular noodles.

8. Keep the pieces separated and lightly floured. Working quickly, repeat for the remaining two balls of dough.

9. Bring the sauce to a boil and drop in the noodles, stirring as you do so. Reduce the heat to medium-low - it should still be at a vigorous simmer. Cook, stirring now and then, for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are just done. Serve immediately.

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