Making a dip is one of my favourite things to do with cooked pulses. They’re so easy to throw together and last at least a week in the fridge, which means lots of extra meal choices or quick options if I’m too busy to cook.
Split peas also pack a bigger nutritional punch than chickpeas with more protein and fibre, are easier to digest, and have a lighter, less bean-y taste. This split pea spread is perfect if you’re looking for something a little more neutral.
There’s a Greek recipe called Fava that uses split peas to make a hummus-like dip, but the traditional version uses a lot of cooked onions, which this recipe does not. There are some strong Mediterranean flavours like sumac, lemon, and olive oil here, and I’ve added some lemon thyme, one of my favourite herbs that’s doing really well in the herb/butterfly garden (see substitutes for thyme).
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Split peas: these should be yellow split peas, not green. They can be found in most bulk food shops and many grocery stores.
- Tahini: another nut/seed butter like sunflower seed butter can be subbed for tahini if you want a milder flavour.
- Sumac: if you don’t have sumac, leave it out, or substitute some lemon zest.
To cook the split peas, soak them for at least 12 hours with a teaspoon of baking soda. After soaking, rinse, cover with fresh water, and cook until quite soft. They will take quite a while to cook, so I recommend making a larger batch and freezing some for later use.
I’m sure you could use a pressure cooker of some kind of cook the peas, but I don’t have one, so I can’t comment on how long it would take to do that. Soaking with baking soda makes the peas softer in the end.
How to Store
Storage: this can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a week, and tastes best the day after making it.
Freezing: while Fava can be frozen, and I’m sure the same is true here, the texture is less pleasant after thawing. I don’t recommend freezing this.
- Thin it out: if the spread is too thick and not blending into a smooth mixture, add a splash of water and blend more. This can be due to dry tahini or a lower-powered mixer.
- Use a different blender: if you don’t have a food processor, a decent immersion blender or a standing blender that works for dry ingredients can be used for this recipe.
More Dips and Spreads
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Split Pea Spread
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend at high speed until smooth, about two minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is.300 grams cooked yellow split peas*, 50 ml lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon thyme, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Serve immediately for a more dip-like consistency, or chill and serve cold for use as a spread. This is best after being chilled for a day. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- To serve, top with extra sumac and lemon thyme.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.