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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Split Yellow & Green Pea Dal

Home sweet home.
I don't know how to describe it, but coming home after a full week of doing nothing but work and eat will wear you out.  The work part is ok, but being polite enough to eat everything on your plate evening after evening French style, meaning several courses including a rich dessert (but oh homemade, you need to taste it!) is a total challenge.  Not to mention, I only got to cook one meal in a 8 or 9 day timeframe.
I'm absolutely not complaining.  It's nice to be catered for.  I'm just not used to it.  I like being the judge of what I'm eating so after a few days, I crave my own cooking.  My own Indian cooking.  MmmMMM!!!!
I didn't waste a second upon entering my home.  I soaked my split peas while arranging the house before making this delicious dal.   Mr Patel often uses green split peas, which I have always loved, but the French version of green split peas involves either ham or mashing.  I'm not really into either of those with the exception of mashed potatoes which I very rarely make.  My French occupant despises mashed green split peas and swears he hates them.
Oh really?  Challenge accepted.
Actually I don't really care, because it's mine first.  I don't mind sharing but I won't force anyone to eat anything I can deliciously keep for myself.  I just happened to come across some very cheap green split peas calling for me at the supermarket this week, so I bought them.  The only thing that matters is that I like them.. right?  I may be having the same issue with mushrooms soon.
This recipe came naturally but was inspired by my Varan Toor Dal recipe.  I just changed a few things around.
I know I say this every time, but it's a keeper!  I love the earthy taste of green split peas and the mix with the toor dal is just the most exciting event that has happened on my pallet in over a week!  Now that I'm officially out of curry leaves, I may be allowed out to my local Indian grocery store to discover new things yet again.
Serves 4
1/2 cup toor daal + 1/2 cup green split peas, rinsed until water is clear and soaked 15 min
3-4 cups water or whey
1 large shallot, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon

3 Tbsp dried methi (fenugreek) leaves
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cracked fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asofetida (hing)
1 green chili, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 sprig curry leaves
1 dried red chili
1 handful cauliflower florets

1.  Cook the daal in the  water or whey with the shallots. I did it on the stove top, but it works well in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.  Stovetop I let it cook for 45 minutes, checking for doneness.  The daal should be bite tender, not mushy.
2.  Make the seasoning.  In a wok, heat the oil, then add the cumin.  When it crackles, add the mustard and fenugreek seeds.  Then add the turmeric and hing.  It should fizz.
3.  Add the garlic, green chili, ginger, and curry leaves.  When the garlic starts to color, add the cauliflower.  Cook until the mixture begins to stick.
4.  Add the seasoning to the daal along with 1 dried chili.  Add more water if needed, and bring to a boil.  Add lemon juice, then taste and add salt if needed.

Serve as is or as a side.  Mine was a main course, but it will be correctly continued tomorrow with a full thali.

Oh how it feels good to cook again!!!
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