Place the split peas in a large bowl and add warm water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak.
While the split peas are soaking, heat the oil in your Big Deal stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the julienned onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring and scraping about every 10 minutes. You can reserve a small portion (about 2 tablespoons) of the caramelized onions to fry for a crispy topping, if you like.Stir the garlic into the pot with the caramelized onions and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to medium and stir in the rice, sauté for 2 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne; sauté quickly.Drain the split peas and stir into the pot. Add 4 1/4 cups water, the remaining salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the rice and split peas are tender. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Once it's rested, fluff the split peas and rice with a fork.
While the split peas and rice are simmering, you can fry the reserved caramelized onions by heating 1/2 cup olive oil in Small Fry over medium-high heat until it shimmers, about 3 minutes. Carefully add 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Plate the split pea dish in a shallow bowl and top with the crispy onions.