Mix rice, chana dal, urad dal, and yellow split peas in a large vessel. Soak in a lot of water for about 2 hours.
Grind the soaked mixture with chili powder and salt coarsely, without adding much water.
Ferment for about 3 - 4 hours, then refrigerate or freeze. In cold weather, the fermenting process might take longer, and it might be a good idea to ferment in an oven (the pilot light will keep the mixture warm).
Add either onions (finely cut), carrot (grated) or coconut before preparing.
If freezing, only ferment for about an hour. The mixture will have to be left out for a while before being ready to use.
Rajeev Krishnamoorthy, rajeev@twain.Ee.Cornell.Edu