This is a recipe for a wonderful creamy Dal that feels like you are feeding your soul with the kindest gentlest bowl of goodness. Split peas cooked to perfection with gentle warming spices and creamy coconut milk. Not over spiced, it tastes almost like a savoury porridge. The trick is in the cooking of the split peas....you dont want a mush and you dont want them raw, you just want a gentle softness to them while still being slightly al dente. You just know when you are eating this, your tummy is thanking you. Its best eaten snuggled up in pyjamas with thick wooly socks and a big old wool jumper on in front of the fire ideally with rain lashing against the window. Heaven in a bowl.
300g Yellow split peas
1 Litre vegetable stock
1 Teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 Small red onion finely chopped
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
100g Tomatoes roughly chopped
1/2 Cup tinned thick coconut milk
Himalayan rock salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thinly sliced spring onions
Fresh coriander leaves
1 Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger grated
Wash the split peas twice in bowlfuls of water then drain. Put them in a large pan with the stock, cover, bring to the boil then simmer for an hour stirring occaisionally.
In a frying pan melt the coconut oil then put in the mustard seeds. Cook gently for a couple of minutes till you hear them pop. Add the onion and stir keeping on a low heat. Bash the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar till crushed then stir into the onions. Keep on the heat and stir in the tomatoes and ginger and garlic plus 4 tablespoons of water. Keep cooking till thickened, usually about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir through the coconut milk and warm gently.
The split peas should be starting to disintegrate and disolve into the liquid though still retain their shape. You want them to be soft to eat. Keep cooking and stirring till you achieve this. I stir them for a few minutes at the end and this helps them disolve a bit. You shouldn't have much water left in the pan, it should just be a bit porridge
Stir the coconut milk mixture into the split peas and warm gently througj seasoning if required.
Serve in bowls with the spring onions and coriander leaves sprinkled ontop.
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