A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the legume Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. However, peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.
The yellow pea (Lathyrus aphaca) is native to southern Europe, parts of Asia, and North Africa. Some consider it to be a weed, particularly when in areas where it is an introduced species, including northern Europe and North America. It acclimates best to dry places, such as sand, gravel, and chalk, and requires a well-drained habitat. It is an annual herb producing yellow pea flowers just over a centimetre wide.
Yellow split peas :
While not commonly used on the Indian sub-continent it is very prevalent in the Indian communities of Guyana and Trinidad, and was formerly popular amongst Indians in the United States. There, it is referred to generically as dal and is the most popular dal, although masoor dal and toor dal are also used. It is prepared similarly to dals found in India but also may be used in a variety of other recipes.
Other names :