Bengali split pea curry with Tenderstem broccoli and caramelised shallots

Making a curry from scratch can seem a daunting task, but this recipe is easy enough to make on a Friday night without causing any stress!


Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes


1 large onion, roughly chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

2 cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

200g yellow split peas

200g tenderstem broccoli sliced into 3cm pieces

Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

For the spice mix:

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp fenugreek seeds

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp nigella seeds

1-2 tsp dried chili flakes, to taste

For the caramelised shallots:

300g shallots, peeled and cut into thin slices

3 tbsp vegetable oil


1 Make the spice mix by dry frying all the spices together for a minute or so. As soon as you smell their aroma wafting up strongly from the pan, tip them into a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. Set aside.

2 Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor until smooth, adding a tablespoon or so of cold water to help this process along if necessary. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger puree until soft and translucent. This should take around 10 minutes.

3 Add the ground spices and fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the split peas. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the peas by about 3cm and bring up to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes stirring from time to time. You may need to add a little more water towards the end if it is looking a little dry.

4 While the curry is cooking, caramelise the shallots by stir frying with the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium high heat. Cook until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.

5 Stir the tenderstem broccoli through the curry and continue to cook for around 5-8 minutes or until it is tender but with a little bite. Season to taste.

6 Serve the curry topped with the caramelised shallots and sprinkled with the coriander. Great served with plain rice or naan bread

Recipe and images courtesy of

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