Yellow Split Peas with Tomato and Chiles (tamatar chana dal)

Yellow Split Peas with Tomato and Chiles (tamatar chana dal)

This curry is so good. It can be a bit spicy. So, adjust the chiles to your taste. It is great over rice. It can be easily made vegan by replacing the ghee with vegetable oil. This recipe is from 660 Curries by Raghaven Iyer page 420.

 

 

 

Yellow Split Peas with Tomato and Chiles (tamatar chana dal)

1 cup yellow split peas (chana dal), picked over for stones
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 fresh Thai, cayenne, or Serrano chiles, stems removed, coarsely chopped
4 medium-sized cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons Ghee or melted butter
1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

Place the split peas in a medium-sized saucepan. Fill the pan halfway with tap water and rinse the peas by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water will become cloudy. Drain this water. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain. Now add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered over medium heat. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas are partially tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

While the split peas are simmering, combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chiles and garlic in a mortar. Pound with the pestle to form a pungent, pulpy mass (some coriander seed will remain whole).

Heat the ghee in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pounded chile blend and stir-fry until the garlic is honey-brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomato, salt, and turmeric. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens and the ghee starts to separate around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, and set aside.

When the split peas are partially tender, add the sauce and 1/2 cup water, and stir. Ladle a spoonful of the mixture in to the skillet and stir to wash it out. Add this to the saucepan. Continue to simmer the dal over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors permeate the split peas, about 5 minutes. Then serve.

 

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