While living in Memphis, J and I had a Sunday tradition of going out for Indian food for lunch. A lazy morning was made even lazier when we piled into the car for the three block trip to India Palace and its incredible buffet.
As I write this, it is Sunday, J is in Memphis, and I am feeling a bit blue. I thought I would cheer myself up with some Indian inspiration, so for Meatless Monday I offer up this tasty creation...
Yellow Split Peas with Chiles, Cilantro, and Mint
This flavorful dish is a bit more mellow take on spicy Indian dishes. Remember, the heat of a chile is in the seeds and ribs. If you want to make it spicier, leave 'em in! This dish can also be made with dried chick peas or red lentils.
1 cup dried yellow split peas
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2" fresh ginger, chopped
2 chiles (such as jalapeños), seeded and chopped
1 Tbl coconut or olive oil
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 Tbl fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbl fresh cilantro, chopped
Thin strips of jalapeños, ginger, and tomato to garnish.
Place split peas in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
In a food processor, grind the ginger and garlic into a paste. You may want to add just a pinch of salt to help it along. In a large pan over medium heat, saute the onions, chiles, and garlic and ginger paste in the coconut oil until they begin to brown, roughly seven minutes.
Drain peas and add to the mixture with the cumin. Stir to combine and cook for three minutes. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes until peas are tender and the liquid has reduced by one third. Add salt, mint, and cilantro. Serve with naan or over rice.
Garnish with thin strips of jalapeños, ginger, and tomato.
TIP: The smaller the chile, the hotter it is. I use a pretty mild jalapeño. To prepare for cooking, slice off the stem end, then cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs carefully with a knife. And remember to wash your hands!
TIP: Peas can be soaked ahead of time in cold water. Just pop 'em in when you are headed out the door before work!