Jay’s famous gruel recipe



  • 8 ounces yellow split peas
  • 2 medium-small (or 1 large) potato(s)
  • ~1 quart water


  • 3 medium-large onions
  • ~1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 ‘hunk’ (~0.75 cubic inches) fresh ginger
  • several cloves garlic (roughly same volume as ginger)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced peeled tomatos
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon garaham (sp?) masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander power
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika (or cayene pepper) or 1 small green chile
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 2 ‘big squirts’ lemon juice

Kitchen Implements

  • 2 or 3 quart saucepan
  • large (and preferably deep) frying pan
  • vegetable peeler
  • sharp chopping knife
  • cutting board
  • mortar & pestle
  • garlic press
  • can opener
  • 2 spoons (for stirring)


Entire preparation takes approximately 1 hour. The dahl will be prepared
seperately from the masala, and they will be mixed only at the very end.

  1. Bring 1 quart of water to boil in saucepan.
  2. Add yellow split peas to boiling water. Stir.
  3. The peas need to cook for a total of 1 hour uncovered, which
    means cooking 45 minutes alone and then 15 minutes combined with the
    masala. When practiced, the masala will take that long to prepare.

  4. Peel potatos. Cut into bite size chunks.
  5. Add potatos to peas.
  6. If necessary to allow boiling, add more water and turn up
    heat. Throughout rest of instructions, stir dahl occasionally.

  7. Thoroughly dice onions.
  8. Add oil to frying pan, just enough to cover bottom of pan.
  9. Bring frying pan to medium heat to heat oil.
  10. Add cumin and mustard seeds to oil. Allow to heat in oil.
  11. When oil is hot, add diced onions. Make sure to ‘break up any onion
    families’. Stir occasionally while following rest of instructions.

  12. Peel ginger, and pound into paste with mortar and pestle.
  13. Put garlic cloves (peeled or unpeeled) into garlic press and press

  14. Clean garlic press immediately so that it doesn’t harden like cement.
  15. Open can of diced peeled tomatos with can opener.
  16. When onions are nearing completion (turning translucent and
    carmelizing), add garlic and ginger pastes. Mix with onions.

  17. Add curry powder, tumeric, garaham masala, corriander powder, and
    paprika to masala.

  18. After a brief pause to stir in spices, add tomatos to onions and
    mix. Make sure to break up any large chunks of tomato (unless you are
    some kind of weirdo and like your tomatos chunky 🙂

  19. Add masala to dahl in saucepan. Mix.
  20. Add salt and lemon juice to mixture. Mix.
  21. Simmer for ~15 more minutes on low heat.
  22. Now would be a good time to make the rice.

1 thought on “Jay’s famous gruel recipe

  1. Pingback: On Cooking for a Friend (Curried Spinach-Chickpeas Recipe) | Sticky Notes of Thoughts

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