Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cozy Yellow Split Pea Curry

I've officially arrived in Atlanta and although the house is not quite set up 100%, I find myself making super cozy, warm comforting meals to help me feel grounded. Of course for me, a thick curry paired with a texture filled salad is a beautiful place to start. ...

This recipe came together surprisingly fast considering I hadn't even stocked the pantry yet. And we all know how men are about stocking the cupboards. ;) ...aka there wasn't much! I did find the bag of yellow split peas that I sent back up with Dan months ago with the intention that he might make them since split peas are a faster cooking bean. Nope. ...Also, I did stop at my favorite grocery store ever, Publix, on the drive up from Tampa for a few salad ingredients. In reality, I wanted to get out of the car and stretch my legs. What better of a place than a grocery store! I mean really. 

Ok, and so I know you all might not be as Indian food crazy as me because I literally have been toting my garam masala and Indian spices around in my car for the last 2 weeks while I was living the gypsy life still in Tampa. Again, with good intentions that I might get to cook for for my friends I was staying with. Nope again. It all worked out beautifully though because by the time I made it to Atlanta, this meal was ready to brew. How fitting that our first date was to an Indian restaurant and our first meal in Atlanta together is Indian?!

Although it may look like a long list of ingredients, I promise it comes together ridiculously fast. Bonus: all pantry items (except for onion and garlic) and can come together easily when you don't have anything planned. Well, assuming you keep your pantry as stocked as I hope to get ours. ;)

Cozy Yellow Split Pea Curry
Serves 6 

2 cups dried yellow split peas 
5 cups water (may need up to 8 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander (optional, usually in garam masala but I like extra!)
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. In a large soup pot, add split peas and water. Optional: add dash of salt here. Cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes until tender, stiring occasionally. Adding more water if you prefer a soupier consistency. The beans will thicken quite a bit as they stand.
2. Preheat a skillet on medium heat and then add oil and chopped onion. Saute until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Note: caramelization takes patience and time so let the onions rest for a few minutes in between stirs. 
3. Add garlic and cumin (ground or seeds) to onion/oil. Cook for a couple minutes until fragrant. 
4. Add garam masala, coriander, tumeric, salt, and crushed red pepper to onion mixture. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if mixture starts to dry out. Reduce heat to low. 
5. Add onion and seasoning mix to cooked beans. Stir together until well blended. Mix in lemon juice and ginger. Add more crushed red pepper or salt to your preference.
6. Serve atop a bed of rice and enjoy!

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