Sort yellow split peas, removing any that look bad and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Rinse and chop onion and garlic. Peel ginger and grate.
Use a large saucepan to heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Add turmeric, cumin, cloves and cinnamon stick and warm them for 30-60 seconds to release their flavorful oils. Add broth, split peas, tomato paste and chile sauce. You can omit the chile if you want a milder dish. Stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. If needed, a little water can be added to keep the desired consistency.
The dish is ready when the split peas are very tender and start to fall apart. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.