Throughout India, a meal is not complete without some variation of this spice-tempered legume dish. Cumin and turmeric provide slightly bitter notes, but this dish has an overall salty-savory flavor. Split-pea spinach dal with cauliflower 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
How to Make It
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.
Excellent dish. I made it exactly according to the recipe and it is delicious. Perfect for "meatless Monday" with a side of brown rice. Also, very low in net carbs, so it is perfect for my diabetic diet.
This is an excellent dish, and perfect for gluten-free, dairy-free diets (substitute the butter out). It's very easy to make. I left out the mustard seeds, and it's awesome. Made it twice in the past 2 weeks and plan on making it again.
I only had green split peas as others are hard to find. Based on other reviews I doubled the cauliflower and reduced the cumin. I noticed the spices on a whole are equivalent to curry powder so next time I might try that. Nevertheless, the spices worked well and this stew was very good with some crusty bread. I would make this again.
The dish had a great blend of flavors, everyone enjoyed it in the family. I would use a bit of less cumin and more cauliflower next time though. I did not have spinach, but I can imagine that it would have further improved the Dal. All in all, it is an easy to make, healthy, yummy comfort dish which I will make regularly.
This was excellent! I didn't have cumin or brown mustard seed so I used 1/2 tablespoons of ground cumin and 2 tablespoons of dry mustard after looked up how to substitute. I would definitely make again!
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