Yellow Split Pea Dal
I love this dish not only because it is vegetarian-friendly, but also because it features a variety of spices that add great flavor and depth to this dish.
To make things easy, I used a combination of curry powder and garam masala, which are both mild blends of ground spices that include everything from cumin and cardamom to fennel and star anise. They are pretty easy to come by in the spice aisle of regular grocery stores. If you are lucky enough to live close to an Indian enclave, you might want to buy your spices from the ethnic markets.
This recipe uses the most basic ingredients–split peas, onion and tomatoes. Although it may not be authentic, I sometimes add different vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, green beans or carrots to give this dish more body and texture.
I like to dollop a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt or sour cream on top. Serve this with some naan bread or over a bed of basmati rice.
This dish freezes really well. I like to keep a batch in the freezer before I leave for a trip. That way, when I come home, exhausted and hungry, there will be a hearty and healthy meal waiting for me.
Yellow Split Pea Dal
- Canola oil, 2 tablespoons
- Onion, 1 medium, finely chopped
- Garlic, 4 large cloves, finely chopped
- Salt, 1 teaspoon, plus more to taste
- Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon, plus more to taste
- Garam masala, 1 teaspoon
- Curry powder, 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper, 2 to 3 pinches
- Yellow split peas, 1 cup, soaked in water for 45 minutes
- Tomato, 1 medium, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Parsley, 1/4 cup, chopped
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper; cook until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garam masala, curry powder and cayenne pepper; stir until the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Drain split peas and add to saucepan. Add 3 cups of water to the pot. Once the water comes to a boil, put on a lid, turn down the stove to medium-low and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the peas are very soft.
Stir the peas with a wooden spoon until they are mashed and thick. Stir in tomato and parsley. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Put the lid back on if the mixture splatters. Taste for salt and pepper at the end.