Dhal and Dumpling Recipe

Dhal and dumpling is a simple soup recipe made with yellow split peas, seasonings and flour dumplings.

It is enjoyed for lunch, especially on a rainy day.

The most basic recipe here is a vegan split peas soup but meat options like pigtail, crab or chicken can be added.

What is in this dhal and dumpling recipe

For the dhal, you will need:

  • yellow split peas or dhal
  • onion
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • pepper
  • carrots
  • chadon beni
  • Caribbean green seasoning with chadon beni, garlic and thyme
  • salt
  • turmeric powder
  • whole geera (cumin) seeds
  • water
  • oil

Optional ingredients can be anything you use for Caribbean soup like:

  • pumpkin
  • fresh herbs like chadon beni, cilantro, and chives
  • amchar masala
  • choice of meat like crab, pigtail, and chicken
  • salted butter

For the dumpling, you will need:

  • flour
  • salt
  • water

Without the meat options, this recipe is vegan but not gluten-free. To make it gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour like cassava flour.

Also, If you like split peas, then be sure to check out my Trinidad dhal recipe.

How to make dhal and dumpling

To make this recipe, you must cook the split peas with veggies, seasonings and turmeric until the peas have soften completely or use a pressure cooker to speed up the process. Next, knead the flour to make a fairly firm dough, roll out and cut into small flour dumplings. Add the dumplings to the split peas with additional seasonings. Once the dumplings are cooked completely, fry garlic and whole cumin (geera) seeds in a separate pot (or ladle) and add it to the dhal. That’s it!

Let me show you how I made my most recent dhal and dumpling recipe.

Boil the split peas

Step 1: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add about eight cups of water and leave to heat up.

Step 2: Wash the split peas a few times, removing any bad peas. Add to the pot and give it a quick stir.

Step 3: Next, wash and chop the onion, garlic cloves, ginger, pepper and Caribbean green seasoning with chadon beni leaves, garlic and Spanish thyme. Add these ingredients to the boiling dhal along with the turmeric and a teaspoon or so of salt.

Step 4: Leave to boil, stirring occasionally until the peas soften.

You can also add everything to your pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes on your small-medium stove burner. Pressure cooking will save you about 30 minutes of cook time.

Knead the dough for dumplings

Step 5: To a small bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add water a little at a time. Knead to form a slightly firm dough. I used about 1/2 cup of water for this recipe. Set aside while the split peas are cooking.

dough for dhal and dumpling

Blend the dhal… or not

Step 6: When the split peas have softened, use an immersion blender or dhal ghoutnie to break down the peas and thicken the soup. Of course, this is not necessary since the peas will break apart as you stir.

If you pressure cooked the dhal, you won’t need to blend since the dhal just disappears into the water.

Add the dumpling and veggies

Step 7: Wash and scrape a carrot. Cut into small discs and add to the dhal. Add any other vegetables you like.

Step 8: Next, divide the dough into small bite sized pieces. You can do this by (1) rolling out the dough and cutting with a knife into small dumplings; or (2) rolling small amounts of dough between your palms; or (3) rolling small amounts between your palm and floured surface to form a long, thin log and then cut into small pieces. It is all based on your preferences.

Step 9: Add the dumplings to the dhal and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the dumplings from sticking together.

Step 10: Also, add fresh herbs like chopped chadon beni leaves at this point. And more water if necessary.

add dumplings

Chunkay the dhal

Once the dumplings have cooked, it is time to chunkay the dhal. The term chunkay is an old Hindi term which refers to heating garlic, cumin, spices and oil and adding it to food.

Step 11: To do this, place a small pot or ladle with oil, sliced garlic and whole cumin on low heat. Stir occasionally to evenly distribute the heat.

roast garlic for chunkaying

Step 12: When the garlic has darkened significantly, add the hot oil to the dhal. Be very careful, the oil will splutter. Stir to mix into the dhal and dumpling.

chunkay dhal and dumpling

Step 13: Remove from the heat. Serve immediately or cover and leave for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. The dhal will thicken up as it cools and will become less runny and soup-like.

dhal and dumpling recipe

More peas please!

Dhal and dumpling recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Dhal and dumpling recipe

This dhal and dumpling is a simple soup recipe made with yellow split peas, seasonings and flour dumplings. It is vegan and delicious with Caribbean and Indian flavors.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: dhal and dumpling
Servings: 6
Calories: 247kcal
Author: Ros Singh



  • 1 cup yellow split peas (dhal)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 cloves grated; 1 clove sliced)
  • 1 inch ginger (grated)
  • 1 pimento pepper (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (sliced)
  • 5 chadon beni leaves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Caribbean green seasoning (with chadon beni leaves, garlic, Spanish thyme)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp whole cumin (geera) seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 8 cups water


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water for kneading (about 1/2 cup)


  • Place a large pot on medium heat.
  • Add 8 cups of water and leave to heat up.
  • Wash the yellow split peas several times. Add to the pot.
  • Wash and chop the onion, two garlic cloves, ginger and pimento. Add to the pot.
  • Stir in turmeric powder and salt.
  • Leave to boil until the peas have softened completely (about 30 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  • To a small bowl, mix the flour and salt together.
  • Add water to the dry ingredients slowly.
  • Knead to form a slightly firm dough.
  • Set aside until the split peas have softened.
  • Once soft, stir and mash the peas to break them apart or use an immersion blender.
  • Add carrot and chopped chadon beni leaves to the dhal.
  • Roll out the dumpling dough.
  • Cut into small bite sized dumplings.
  • Add to the dhal.
  • Stir and leave for 10 – 15 minutes until the dumplings have fully cooked all the way through.
  • Place a small pot (or ladle) on low heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 sliced garlic clove and whole cumin seeds.
  • Heat until the garlic has turned completely brown.
  • Add the hot oil to the dhal (carefully).
  • Stir and serve immediately or cover and leave for 10 – 15 minutes until the dhal has thickened.

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