This dal with a delicate cilantro (coriander) chutney is inspired by Strong Adolfo’s, the wonderful, fun and busy cafe near Wadebridge, Cornwall, England. On trips to stay with my family Strong Adolfo’s is a favorite choice for lunch. The talented chefs make sure there are vegetarian or vegan and gluten free choices on the menu. So here is my stab a creating the delicious, warming and delicately aromatic dal. I used vanilla salt in the garnish. Yum, that was so delicious.
Dal is a comfort food for me and it is also highly nutritious meal. Yellow split peas are an excellent source dietary fiber and a rich source of energizing complex carbohydrates. These legumes are low in fat and high in protein as well as providing B vitamins and several minerals essential for our health. So enjoy this easy to make dal and know you are giving yourself a treat that is nourishing as well a delicious
Time: a little more than 2 hours
2 cup split yellow peas (washed and picked over to remove any stones or bad peas)
I medium onion (chopped)
1½ tspn tumeric
½ Tbspn minced ginger root
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 cups, 2 litres water
2 vegetable stock cubes
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 Tbspn cumin seeds
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 large or 2 small dates
Optional: a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves.
What to do
Boil the water and dissolve the stock cubes. Set aside until needed.
Heat a large pot and add the chopped onion. Sauté and add little splashes of water until the onion is beginning to brown. Add the garlic and continue to stir for a minute or two. Add the turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Take care not to burn the turmeric and garlic.
Tip the washed split peas into the pan and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.
Add about ¾ of the water and stock cube mixture as well as the ginger. Bring the dal to the boil and simmer gently. It can take 1½ – 2 hours until the yellow peas are tender. Add more of the stock as needed. The dal is cooked when the split peas are starting to disintegrate and the mix becomes creamy.
At this point add 1 or 2 dates, chopped into small pieces and the lime juice. Allow the dal to simmer very gentle adding more stock or water.
Warm a frying pan and add cumin and mustard seeds and heat the pan until the seeds begin to pop. Add seeds to dal and refine the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Add spinach leaves at the last moment so that they just wilt.
1 big bunch of cilantro (coriander) stems and all, roughly chopped
Juice 1 lime or lemon or mix of both
1 Tbspn soft brown sugar or dark cane sugar
1 Tbspn grated fresh ginger
1 Tbspn dessicated coconut
1 large or two small green onions (spring onions), chopped, including the green part
Pinch of salt
1 -2 small fresh green chilies (optional)
What to do
While the dal is cooking make the chutney.
Place all the ingredients for the cilantro (coriander) chutney into a food processor and blend until every thing is well chopped. Adjust the seasoning with a little salt.
Serve the dal with a generous dollop of the cilantro chutney on top.