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.