This Tridoshic dal comes from a cookbook that I’ve been using for years called The Ayurvedic Cookbook .
I’m always interested in learning about the culinary traditions and philosophies of other cultures. Eastern cuisines in particular often fixates on the concept of warming and cooling foods. Maintaining a balance of the two within a meal, or strategically stimulating or calming ones system where imbalance is detected. This approach to balance and harmony has interestingly enough infused my approach to even Caribbean/Western cooking. I find myself trying to create harmony within dishes, adding cooling tomatoes when using fiery peppers for example.
According to The Ayurvedic Cookbook , all of us fall into one of three doshas or body types – Vita, Pitta and Kapha. (For those who are insufferably curious I am a Pitta  ). Not understanding our respective types can cause us to unknowingly indulge in foods that work against our personal chemistry. Interestingly enough when looking at the foods that Pitta is supposed to avoid I saw more than a few that I have instinctively avoided/disliked since childhood!
Each recipe in The Ayurvedic Cookbook  lists whether it is aggravating, calming or neutral where each dosha is concerned. Dals like this one, being tridoshic, are ideal for all body types, which is wonderful because it tastes soo soo good. Aromatic with chadon beni, coconut, geera (cumin) seeds, and pumpkin. Although I still make a more traditional Trinidadian dal , this is currently my dal of all dals. There is just something about the way that the sweetness of the pumpkin compliments the creamy warmth of the split peas and once the coconut and cilantro are stirred in at the end, oh my! Flavour fuh so! For my own personal tastes I added a tad more coconut than would qualify as a ‘garnish’, and I also use an immersion blender at the end to partially puree the liquid. Watch me make it below!&
From The Ayurvedic Cookbook :
Dals are always prepared with something sour in the vagar (mixture of spices and ghee)
to stimulate digestive fire. In [Mumbai], tamarind is often used, while in the Gujarati province, lemon, lime or amchoor add this stimulating sourness. It must be added in the early stages of cooking for best effect.
Want to learn more?
Source: Adapted from The Ayurvedic Cookbook 
Preparation time : 1 hour
Serves : 6
1 cup yellow split peas
8 cups water
2 cups pumpkin,cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
1 cup carrots, cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
1-1/4 teaspoons madras curry powder
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice or
1 tablespoon amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
1 small hot green pepper, chopped finely
1-1/4 tablespoon cumin seeds
Garmish ; Fresh culantro/chadoni beni leaves, chopped and shredded unsweetened coconut
Wash split peas until rinse water is clear. Wash and chop vegetables.
1. Warm 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in large heavy saucepan.
2. Add curry powder, amchoor and lemon juice and saute for 30 seconds over low heat
3. Stir in the split peas and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add the chopped vegetables and stir another minute or two.
5. Add water, salt, ginger, and pepper (if you are using it); bring to a boil on high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
6. Let soup simmer for 45 minutes or until beans have dissolved.
7. Warm remaining tablespoon of oil or ghee in a small skillet, add cumin, heat until the seeds begin to sizzle.
8. Add to soup, which is now ready to serve.
9. Garnish with fresh chopped culantro/chadon beni leaves and coconut.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 5.01g
Total Carbs: 24.98g
Dietary Fiber: 9.74g
This post was originally published September 15, 2009. It has been updated three times since then.