Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Justin's Yellow Dal

 Sorry that it's been a while since my last post dearest followers. I have returned to the life of a college student at UCLA and that means 2 things:
1. Not a lot of disposable time to cook when I want
and more importantly
2. Not a lot of disposable money to experiment in the kitchen.

However! I have found a way to bring you a new recipe and this one is quite a gem.

It's a great recipe for anyone who is on a budget and its perfect to make if you are busy because despite taking 1 to 1 1/2 hours, it makes a huge batch that will last you several days. It is also completely balanced nutritionally and VERY healthy for you as it is made with split yellow peas.

My roommate Justin actually invented/inspired this dish. He lived abroad in India for 6 months and missed the delicious street food like the dal so much that he found out a way to make it himself at home...so consider it authentic! It packs a punch because it is full of typical indian spices and thai chiles so despite the fact that its vegetarian, don't feel like you are shorted on flavor. So go visit India...in your kitchen!

Justin's Yellow Dal

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb bag of split yellow peas + oil for the water
2 medium onions or 1 large
3-6 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger
2 tomatoes
2 tsp salt (I would recommend 3 but it's Justin's recipe)
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2-3 tsp turmeric
2 small green thai chiles
garam masala to taste

1. Boil the yellow split peas in approximately 9 cups of water with the chili powder, turmeric and a little bit of oil until they are very soft and tender, without any bite.
       2. Heat the oil on medium low heat- fry cumin for about 30 seconds until it changes color and starts to release an aroma, then you add the minced onion
      3. Saute the onion until its translucent, stirring frequently (as Justin often reminded me)
      4. smash the garlic/ginger into a paste, add to the onions and  cook until the garlic and ginger become fragrant.
      5. add the diced tomato
      6. add the minced green chili
      7. Let the flavors meld and simmer together and when everything is very soft and the oil seperates from the tomato, it’s ready. Take a potato masher and mash it up.
      8.  meanwhile the split peas will finish cooking- sometimes you’ll have some excess water and oil and you pour it off.
      9. then you add the tomatoe mixture to the lentils, and mash it up together
      10. Add the garam masala to taste, and serve with white rice and a sprinkle of cilantro if you have it.

He even went back for seconds...and thirds eheh


  1. mm. I love split peas, maybe I'll make this! Glad to see you're posting again =]

  2. NUMBEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS...mi mancava un nuovo post my sun!Spero faremo tanti post together quando sarai in italia a novembre!!!!