‘Dal’ in Indian cooking refers to porridge-like dishes made from dried legumes – usually split peas or lentils. Dal is often served in a thinned state as a soup, but equally often it will be a thick, hearty side dish. This is a thick dal, comprehensive and highly spiced enough to be the focus of a meal. Leftovers can be thinned with a little water and served as a soup. I serve this as an entrée, over brown rice.
2 cup dried yellow split peas
2 thick slises fresh ginger, each about 2 inches long
4 large garlic cloves cut in half
8-10 cups water (plus more later if needed}
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 tsp each ground coriander and cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 c. minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/4 c. tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
red pepper slices
Place split peas, ginger slices, garlic halves and water in a soup pot or Dutch oven Cover and heat to boiling point, then reduce heat and simmer very slowly, partially covered – stirring intermittently- until peas are quite soft for about 60-70 min. Add more water as necessary.
Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan over med heat for a min, than add oil and swirl to coat pan. Add all of the spices and cook, stirring, for a min or until they become fragrant. Add the onion, minced garlic, minced ginger and 1 tsp salt.and stir so the onion becomes coated with the spices. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, covered until the onion becomes very soft. Stir in the lemon juice at the end.
Add this mixture to the simmering split peas, stir to combine. add extra veggies and cook until they are done. fish out the ginger slices and serve with rice.
Serve with rice.