Friday, February 11, 2011

Bored of Hummus? Presenting Mild Timtimo w/Yellow Split Peas

I'll try not to say this for each dish, but this one of my favorite recipes :)

This is a recipe for mild timtimo with yellow split peas. It's a really simple vegan dish that can be served with injera, naan, as a dip (if you are bored of hummus), or a spread in a sandwich. By the way, I shot this pic of the timtimo when it was piping hot right off the stove. But once it cools, it thickens up quite a bit.

If you haven't noticed, Eritrean food is a vegan or vegetarian’s dream. There are tons of fasting periods in Eritrea where observers aren’t supposed to eat any animal products. So as a result, the cuisine is rich with vegan options. I'll be presenting additional vegan dishes in the future, so stay tuned.

(And I'm sorry for not posting a video! But there is a picture of the finished product at least!) 

Mild Timtimo w/Yellow Split Peas
(serves 4)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup of dry yellow split peas
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 jalepeno pepper, quartered
vegetable oil 
adobo all purpose seasoning to taste (optional but don't knock globalization!)
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sort through the dry split peas on a flat surface, removing any sediment. Rinse and scrub them thoroughly in water several times, until the water runs clear.
  2. Cook the onions covered over medium heat. Once they soften and lightly brown, stir in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil, garlic, and turmeric. Let the garlic soften for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the washed split peas and 4 cups of water and cook covered over medium-low heat. Stir periodically. Once the lentils, become soft, mash them a bit with the back of the spoon. If the split peas are still not soft once the water cooks down, add more water. It could need up to 2.5 additional cups of water, but add it incrementally, not all at once. It can take from 30-45 min for the split peas to cook completely.
  4. When the split peas are soft and the water has cooked down, add the jalepeno pepper, goya all purpose seasoning, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat.


  1. Thanks! I'm soaking split pigeon peas to try this recipe tomorrow. Any advice on soaking the split peas to speed up cooking time?

  2. Hi Cyndi - I'm not familiar with the process, as I don't know any recipes that require or suggest soaking. But I read that its recommended to soak a legume like pigeon peas for at least 4 hours (or over night if you can). But I have the sense its not as common for lentils and split peas.. not sure though.

    Thanks for your comment and for checking out the blog. I hope you continue to do so. And I'd love to hear how your version with pigeon peas turns out!

  3. Delicious but I doubled your spicy timtimo recipe, with yellow split/pigeon peas instead of lentils. Even with just 2-3 T of berbere, it was too spicy for a mouth that wasn't raised on Habesha food! Ended up soaking and cooking another batch of peas just plain, to mix in.

    Your tips were excellent! Gave me the patience to let the onions get brown slowly, which deepened and sweetened the flavor. Thanks!

  4. Funny because I was holding back a bit in that recipe! I add more berbere than that! Sorry for the scorched mouth - I'll keep that in mind for the future. Happy to hear you salvaged it :)