I said a few months back that i was planning to include some meat-based recipes over winter, but with winter all but over i seem to have failed completely in that regard. I also mentioned recipes featuring dried pulses and grains, but don't seem to have done spectacularly well in that regard either. At least my last recipe posted included lentils. Now, on the last day of winter, i give you a recipe which is all about the split pea. Not a seasonal vegetable in sight. Everything is from the pantry, with the exception of the onions and garlic.
This is another wonderful Al Brown recipe from his book "Go Fish". You may surmise from the book title that Al intends for this dish to be served with fish. Trumpeter, to be precise. He also suggests serving with his Roasted Aubergine Sambal (see recipe from 26 November 2017), and home made rotis. I have never made this as a complete meal, exactly as Al suggests, but have managed the sambal and rotis with the dahl and can reliably inform you that it makes a delicious combination. I have also made the dahl and rotis to go with some trumpeter we were gifted - once again extremely tasty. However if you are looking for simplicity, this dahl is also very nice simply drizzled with a little yoghurt that has been lightly salted and thinned with water. If you are vegan you will have to make do with the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The husband was away for a week recently, and i made myself a pot of this dahl one night. I ate it for dinner, breakfast and dinner again (one of the beauties of solo living is that you can eat what you want, when you want, and the same food can be served for multiple meals in a row). With some brussels sprouts on the side (for my daily dose of greenery) it was highly satisfying.
YELLOW SPLIT PEA DAHL
From Al Brown's book 'Go Fish'
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
50 curry leaves
1 cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 fresh chilli, fine diced (seeds optional)
1 teaspoon sumac
1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
500g yellow split peas, rinsed
1 litre chicken (or vegetable) stock
lemons or limes to season
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a large heavy based saucepan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Saute for 2 minutes before adding the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Stir through and reduce the heat to low. Fry gently for 10 minutes, then add the sumac, cumin and turmeric. Stir through, then add the split peas and stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Cook for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the split peas are beginning to break down. If the stock has been absorbed and the split peas are not quite cooked through, add some water a little at a time and continue cooking.
When done remove from heat and season with a squeeze or two of fresh lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper to your taste.