Saturday, February 03, 2007

Split Pea-Spinach Dal with Cauliflower

When I was making our meal-plan for the week, I randomly found this recipe on the CL website and tossed it into the rotation at the very last second. I've made dal before with red lentils so I had some idea of what to expect. It was very yummy! I liked the addition of the spinach to a typical Indian curry. We definitely enjoyed it. My one caveat is that it took forever to make (about an hour and a half), and because of that I probably will not make it again. But it was yummy!

Split Pea-Spinach Dal with Cauliflower
CL, April 2003
Throughout India, a meal is not complete without some variation of this spice-tempered legume dish. Cumin and turmeric provide slightly bitter notes, but the dish has an overall salty-savory flavor. The dal is more of a stew than a soup; for a thinner version, decrease the final simmering time.

3 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup dried yellow split peas
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups torn spinach

Combine 2 1/2 cups water, peas, and bay leaf in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 50 minutes or until tender. Add 1 cup water, cauliflower, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

Heat butter and oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (cumin through cloves); cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to pea mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until thick. Stir in spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts.

Yield: 6 servings

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