Sunday, March 20, 2011

Susan Sanford's Yellow Split Pea Dal

This is a wonderful heart-warming Dal - which is a kind of thick soup made with legumes.  It is often served with rice or flat bread.  I received this recipe from my dear friend Susan Sanford and I've been eating and making this for about 20 years.  I always have these ingredients in my pantry / frig and so can throw it together in a few minutes.  The yellow split peas are mild, so the flavor comes from the spices (make sure yours are fresh!)  The tomatoes and coconut lend a very interesting texture. 

For folks who cannot abide cilantro, I suppose it could be left out or flat-leaf parsley could be substituted - but for me, the brightness of the cilantro is essential to this dish.  If you do try the Dal without the cilantro - perhaps try adding a bit of citrus (lemon or lime).

Although I don't see Susan too often, she lives in the mid-west now, I think of her with love and gratitude whenever I make this Dal.  I miss you Susan!

1 cup yellow split peas
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 - 1 tablespoon grated ginger (depending on how much you like)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil or butter may be substitued)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander (or garam masala)
red pepper flake, to taste (optional)
2 - 6 garlic cloves - minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
salt to taste
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more, I use an entire bunch)

Bring peas, water, turmeric, and ginger to a boil.  Turn heat down and simmer until peas are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add more water if needed.  The Dal should be the consistancy of a thick chowder.

Meanwhile, heat coconut oil or oil in a skillet.  Add garlic and saute about a minutes.  Add ground seasonings, tomatoes, salt, and coconut.  Simmer about 10 minutes. 

Add contents of skillet and cilantro to the split peas.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Melanie, Can you try converting an Indonesian dish to vegan? I suppose tempe would fit. The name of the dish is 'Rendang' (beef marinated in spices and coconut milk. It is cooked until all of the sauce becomes thickened (maybe 2 hours?).

    Nice recipes, I will definitely try some!