British Columbia

Yellow split pea dhal recipe, from new cookbook about pulses

“They’re nutritional powerhouses, a great combination of protein and minerals and vitamins,” says one of the authors of 'The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas and Lentils.'

'They’re nutritional powerhouses, a great combination of protein and minerals and vitamins'

Yellow split pea curry can also be garnished with coriander and served with pilau rice and chapatis, as pictured here. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For decades, Dan Jason of the Salt Spring Seed Company has been growing pulses — like chickpeas, lentils, favas, dried peas and beans — and advocating that more people eat them.

"They're nutritional powerhouses, a great combination of protein and minerals and vitamins," Jason told North by Northwest host Sheryl MacKay.

He also believes that many pulse farmers are going unrecognized, as they are "the unsung heroes of this planet."

So Jason teamed up with foodie sisters, Hillary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne to write The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas and Lentils.

They shared a recipe with North by Northwest for yellow split pea dhal.

Malone described it as a well-rounded dish that is a "fantastic vegetarian option."

"[It's] a great option for a quick cooking pulse recipe," she said.

"Some of the bean recipes you do need to think a little bit and you need to make sure that you have soaked some beans overnight, but this is a nice option if you've gotten home at 5 o'clock."

Yellow split pea dhal

Thick and satisfying, this mild curry is lovely served over rice or scooped up with naan and pappadams.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • Half large onion, diced
  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) cumin
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground coriander
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) red chili flakes
  • 2 ½ cups (600 mL) vegetable stock
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 ½ cups (350 mL) dry yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • ⅓ cup (80 mL) 3.5 per cent milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Steamed long-grain rice, naan or pappadams, for serving
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) torn cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Greek yogurt, for garnish

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chili flakes. Stir constantly until spices become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and tomato and lower heat to a simmer.

Add cilantro stems and split peas; bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until peas are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add milk and season with salt and pepper. 

Serve each portion atop steamed rice, or with naan and pappadams, and garnish with cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

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