Trini Cookin’: Dhal Recipe

When asked to define what ‘dhal’ is, for many Trinis, it becomes quite difficult. It is something we have grown so accustomed to that when asked to define ‘dhal’, we say ‘iz dhal’.

Dhal is a type of split peas. Of course, during preparation, we spice it up and create a seasoned ‘peas dish’. Dhal is uniquely simple to make and is a lovely side dish for almost every kind of curry and to even be eaten by itself.

It took me some time to get this dhal recipe down. As simple as it is, not following the instructions can cause it to come out like ‘Kurhee’. I know…It rel serious!

Let’s get right into the goodness that is dhal!

PS My pressure cooker is Godsend! Totally recommend getting one.


  • 1 1/2 cups dhal
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 pimentos, minced
  • 5 shadon beni leaves, minced
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pack Maggi All Purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for chunkaying
  • water


  1. Pour dhal into a pressure pot and give a thorough rinse to remove any debris

  2. Add hot pepper, onion, 2 tsp of garlic, shadon beni and pimentos to pot

  3. Add saffron, salt and All Purpose seasoning to pot

  4. Cover dhal with water (about 2 cups) give a stir, put lid on pressure pot and cook on a high flame until pot ‘steams off’ at least 10 times (this process takes 20 minutes max)

  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool before removing lid
  6. While waiting, heat oil in a ‘kulchul’ with garlic until golden brown

  7. Add geera to pot, followed by garlic in oil (this usually splashes so caution when adding it to pot) and swizzle with the swizzling stick

  8. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary



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