Expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith, has been writing a few recipes to share with you all. Claire is a whizz when it comes to food history and spends her time running cookery workshops (if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make proper bread, go see Claire!) and writing blogs and copy for a wide range of food businesses.
Find out more over at her website www.greedywordsmith.com
Over to Claire…
Humanity has a long history with dried peas. For the Anglo Saxons, peas and beans acted as the main protein source between the rare occasions that meat was available. They still act as a vital food stuff on the Indian sub-continent where a large percentage of the population honour a vegetarian diet as part of their religious tenet.
The high levels of protein, dietary fibre and complex carbohydrates work hard to help you feel full for longer and ward off any snacking tendencies later in the day. Nutritional analysis also shows split peas to be a great source of thiamine (B1) and many of the minerals required for a healthy life.
This split pea dahl recipe makes a great lunch option with rice or flatbreads. It is a beautiful example of how we can create delicious meals with a few simple ingredients and only a little time.
Serves 3 (main) or 6 (side)
A bay leaf
2 brown onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
Inch long piece of fresh root ginger
1 green chilli
1 ½ tbsp. of cumin seeds
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of garam masala
Organic ghee (dairy-free or vegan? Opt for cold pressed rapeseed oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Before making the dahl – place the split peas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or at least four hours.
Drain and rinse the peas. Place them and the bay leaf in a pan with one litre of cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce and simmer gently for around 35 minutes or until the peas are cooked through and can be squashed with a wooden spoon.
Prepare the remaining ingredients. Peel and finely slice the onions, garlic and fresh ginger. Dice the green chilli.
With a little ghee / rapeseed oil – fry the onion and cumin seeds before adding the garlic and ginger. Fry for a further five minutes or until golden brown.
Take a wooden spoon or potato masher and break down the split peas. Add a little hot water until it reaches the desired consistency. Return your dahl back to a gentle heat and stir in the turmeric, garam masala and onion mixture. Taste. Season with salt and pepper if required and drizzle over a little cold pressed rapeseed before serving.