Sunday, February 05, 2012

Eggplant Dahl with yellow split peas

Dahl (dal) is a thick stew-like dish made from dried lentils, peas or beans and provides a protein punch for people on a mostly vegetarian diet.  For people on a budget, this is a winner!  A pound of yellow split peas for a dollar along with an eggplant and some crisper staples will provide you with at least 6-8 servings!  Instead of using a ton of individual spices to liven it up, I choose to use Penzey's Garam Masala.  It's a lovely mix of coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, charnushka, caraway, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

  • 1 c. yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
  • chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • ~1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • pinch of cayenne 
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Bring 2.5 cups of stock to a boil and then add the split peas and garam masala.  Reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. While the peas start to cook, add some olive oil to your sautee pan and start sweating the onions and carrots on medium to medium low.
  3. After the veggies have sweated for ~8 minutes, add the eggplant, a pinch of salt & pepper.  At this time, you'll probably need to add a bit more olive oil as the eggplant tends to soak it right up.  Sautee for about 8-10 minutes until the eggplant softens.
  4. Add the eggplant mixture to the split peas.  Bring up the liquid level with more stock to just above the veggies.  It took me another cup.
  5. Bring back up to a low boil, reduce to low and place the cover on the pot slightly askew.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove cover, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.  I added a pinch more garam masala, a pinch of cayenne and some S&P.
  7. Continue cooking with lid off for about 10-15 minutes more until the eggplant has "dissolved" and the peas are adequately mushy.

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