One thing that never would have occurred to me before I had a child is that a nice, thick dal makes the perfect baby or toddler food. If it is the right texture, Baby Yum enjoys spooning it into her own mouth and even popping little hand-made balls of dal into her mouth. While some of the baby-safe foods I’ve made have been a tad boring (organic carrot puree, anyone), dals have been a fun dish that both I and Baby Yum can enjoy eating. This morning I was determined to make us a tasty dal for breakfast that Baby Yum could enjoy with some jowar roti or sorghum flatbread. Unfortunately, I was all out of my favorite dals- toor dal and red lentil. The only lentil I had in any quantity in my cupboard was organic split green peas from Whole Foods. I was all set to make some split pea soup (which Baby Yum also enjoys), when I noticed a recipe for dal on the side of the bag. It sounded a tad bland, but I was inspired. So, I googled up some split green pea dal recipes, thought about it for a bit, and came up with this tasty dal. I hope you enjoy eating it as much as we did in our household, where it met with the approval of all the ladies in the household- me, Baby Yum and my dairy-sensitive Mother, too!
*Dal also make great food for those who have had dental work done or have to be on a liquid diet for any reason! You can add water and puree in blender as needed. Beats a smoothie any day, in my book.
This recipe was entered in Diane’s Real Food Weekly Event.
Vegan Split Green Pea Dal Recipe
1 Cup organic green split peas
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. oil (I used olive, but grapeseed,canola, mustard, or coconut would work too)
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
Rinse and drain split peas, and put in a soup pot with the water, bay leaf and 1/2 cup onion. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low for an hour or until tender. Add water as needed if split pea mixture gets too dry or starts to brown on the bottom and stick to the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet on medium and add your cumin seeds. When they turn brown, add your onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the ground spices and mix together. Turn heat to medium low and let onion turn translucent and start to caramelize. Add your tomato and saute until tomato softens, 4 or 5 minutes. Ladle spice and onion mixture on top of your softened split peas and gently fold together. If desired, you can add some water to your skillet, swirl it around the pan to collect all the yummy spices that are left on the bottom of the pan, and pour that into the split pea mixture as well. Turn heat to low and let flavors mingle for 5 minutes or so. Turn off heat and serve!