I make a really easy (lazy) version of Dal. It hardly warrants and recipe it is so easy. If you have never made or eaten dal is it well worth trying. It is in my top 5 list of comfort foods. I make it as a side dish with curry, but it can be eaten as a main dish with extras thrown in. It is always good to have some for left overs as it is makes a really quick snack and would keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I made a big batch so use a whole bag of split peas (500gm) which would serve 4 as a main dish or 10 side portions. Ingredients in bold.
- Follow the instructions on the packet, which is usually to wash the peas well in cold water.
- Add to the pan and add water. I add enough water to cover the peas plus approx 1 inch
- Add 1 level tablespoon of stock powder. I use ‘Organic Swiss Vegetable Vegan Bouillon Powder’. You can add more stock to taste later if needed.
- Stir, cover and bring to the boil
- Turn down to simmer, keep covered
- Check after 15 mins and add more water to keep the peas cover as they swell
- You can’t really go wrong, just make sure you don’t add too much water as they need to absorb it all. Likewise you don’t want them to dry out and stick
- Total cook time for stage 1 is around 45 mins
- Stage 2 you need to tend them a bit more, leave covered, check every 10-15 mins and add just enough water to stop it sticking. You are aiming them to all break down and turn into a paste. Achieve this be stirring well every check. This takes around 1 hr maybe longer – you can’t over cook them so don’t worry.
- Once they have all broken down uncover and stir really well, work them into a paste. You can decide how thick you want it, just keep cooking it with the lift off until it has thickened. Tarka dal is traditionally quite wet but for a side I like it quite thick.
- Add salt, pepper or more stock to taste. This helps gives it a deeper flavour.
I’ve made it sounds complicated but it really isn’t! Peas, water, stock, heat, stir. 500g pack cost around 60p, they are on offer in Waitrose this week at 44p! And the best bit split yellow peas are really good for you – 1.2% fat, carbohydrates 13% (0.1% sugar), fibre 8.2%, protein 8.9% a really well balanced whole food.
If you want to go wild and make more effort to serve as a main dish try this recipe: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/tarkadal_90055