Indian Vegetarian Dish


Yellow Dal is comfort food at its best, it is a simple dish but a staple in most Indian homes. Growing up my mum always cooked us Yellow Dal with Rice and it something we devoured. I’m so glad I’ve introduced this Yellow Split Pea Dal Recipe to my kids. On our meat-free days my boys are content with a bowl of steaming rice and dal.

The yellow split peas is boiled until it’s soft and it is then cooked with a variety of spices. The tempering of the spices is what takes the dal to a whole new level. My favourite way to serve this dish is with rice but you can have it with your favourite bread too.

Everyone has their own method of cooking this dish. I remember my mum spending hours tempering her spices and creating a delicious mix to add to her dal. I must admit I am a lazy cook, for me it’s the easy way out as long as my food still tastes delicious without the added effort I am happy. It is about the flavour after all, right?

We call it yellow dal due to the fact that turmeric is added to it, this is what gives this Yellow Split Pea Dal Recipe a beautiful golden hue. I find my dried beans and peas takes much longer to boil in Johannesburg, due to the high altitude. If you didn’t know this “low air pressure causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in high altitude”, now you should understand why our dried beans and peas take longer to cook. It’s why I have invested in a pressure cooker, makes life so much more simple.

This recipe makes a great dish for vegetarians and you can make it ahead and freeze. My fussy family will never eat food that’s pre-cooked and frozen but I have frozen cooked dal in the past, heated and served it to them. They didn’t know the difference. My hubby even went to the extent of complimenting me on how delicious the dal was, or should I say “leftover dal”. I hope you get to make a fresh pot of dal and enjoy!

You may want to try some of my other vegetarian recipes from my blog too, here’s the links below: https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/dhall/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/sauteed-okra-lady-fingers/

My friend Sonila makes a delicious Yellow Split Pea Soup, so if you want to try something different check her recipe out at:

https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com/instant-pot-yellow-split-peas-soup-with-spinach/

https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com/instant-pot-yellow-split-peas-soup-with-spinach


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Yellow Split Pea Dhall Recipe
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Instructions
  1. Soak dhall overight or for a few hours. Add the 3 cups of water with the turmeric and boil on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker until it's soft and smooth
  2. Heat butter ghee or oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once it starts bursting add spring onion (optional) curry leaf, chilli and onion and sauté until onion is translucent
  3. Add garlic and fry for a minute
  4. Add the tomato and cook on a low heat until the tomato is cooked
  5. Add the cooked dhall and season with salt, Add more water and bring to a boil, allow it to simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes. Water can be added according to your preference, if you prefer a thick dhall add less water, if you prefer it more liquid then add less water.
  6. Garnish with coriander
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My hubby cannot cook, he can barely fry an egg but he can make some amazing rustic salads…I have to admit his salads taste delicious. He made us this Baked Bean Salad, I think it’s his absolute favourite and he made it with such love I can’t help but share it. I don’t think his mum knew how to make many creative salads but she did make a mean baked bean salad so I think it’s where he got his tips from. Even my 9 year old enjoyed his dad’s salad. I am lucky in many ways, I have a husband that is truly a family man, I never had that before and I’m so blessed to have someone that really goes out of his way to take care of us. If someone tells you they have a perfect marriage then they need their heads checked, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage or a perfect human being, marriage is hard work and a work in progress. We work at ours every single day, there’s no denying that and the key is communication, respect and most of all trust. If it’s one thing I can say is that I trust my husband 100%,

So this recipe post is dedicated to my amazing but sometimes cranky husband, Mickesh whom I love to bits.

This is a simple salad and I know it was a salad at every braai during our childhood, I don’t remember loving it very much when I was younger but now it’s absolutely yummy and even more yum with some braai sausages.

I always have a few canned goods in my cupboard or should I say more than a few, I sometimes forget what I have and buy more so I probably end up with a whole lot of canned stuff that could last me a year, thankfully they have long expiry dates. Now that it’s summer in SA you will need loads of salad recipes so you can add this one to your list. I have a rather pedantic hubby so he’s even counted the number of mint leaves he used in the salad so here you have it, a very precise recipe.

 


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Baked Bean Salad

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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix together the baked beans, red onion, tomato, mint, coriander and green chilli

  2. Add the chilli sauce and the lemon juice. Mix well and season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve


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This dish is typically served with veg breyani, there are different variations to cook dhall but this particular recipe has masala as one of the ingredients. Most South Indians would probably cook it this way. I am South Indian and Mickesh is North Indian, when  I sometimes cook a South Indian recipe he would think I’m crazy, there are not many differences between the South Indian and North Indian way of cooking in South Africa, flavours and ingredients are fairly similar. However, South  Indians do like their dishes with a lot more spice. Talking about North and South  I think with our diverse culture in South African there are some people who are still confused about language, religion and heritage.  Hindu is a religion and Tamil/Telegu and any other language that Indians speak is just a language, it can be annoying when people refer to South Indians as Tamil or North Indians as Hindi, we are not Tamil nor Hindi, this is a language not our heritage. Now that I’ve got that off my chest…this type of dhall was typically served at Indian weddings and functions, with the new generation not so much. It was also a staple in many Indian homes, my kids still love it with rice but I cook it a little differently if I’m not serving it with Breyani.

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Dhall
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Wash the split peas well, rinse it a few times until the water runs clear. You can also soak your dhall for a few hours before boiling but not necessary. Add dhall, turmeric and some salt with 2 cups of water to a saucepan and cook until soft, I prefer mine really mushy but if you are happy with it a little grainy that's fine too.
  2. In a separate pan heat oil, add the mustard seeds and cumin. As soon as the seeds start popping add your onion, dry chilli and curry leaf. Saute until onion is a little brown.
  3. Add garlic and fry for a minute. Add masala and garam masala. Fry for a minute and then add the tomato. You can add a few drops of water, cover and cook on a low heat until tomatoes are cooked.
  4. Add the cooked split peas and let it simmer on a low heat until dhall thickens, you can check the consistency as it cooks and add more water based on your preference.
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This is another Indian classic dish. It’s made with veggies and basmati rice or any long grain rice.  It is healthy and delicious with whole spices that makes this dish so fragrant. I wish you could smell my home whilst I was cooking this breyani, smelled divine. With my picky eating family I normally  think twice before making a veg breyani, I think the fact that it has veggies  in it is enough to put my two boys off dinner but they eat or they starve.  I always try and make dishes to please everyone in my family except me but today I thought I will be selfish and make something I can enjoy too. Breyani, I know can be a tedious process but trust me this breyani is cooked in one pot with no fuss and can be ready in just over an hour. I used green beans, carrots and peas with potatoes. Please try and use vegetable that remain firm, you really don’t want your vegetable getting all mushy in your breyani.  I bought a bag of basmati rice which cost me a small fortune but it was the worst rice I’ve ever cooked, I usually buy the Maharani Basmati rice, which is of excellent quality but the store that I normally get it from was out of stock. I settled for another brand and was highly disappointed. Therefore I had to use normal long grain rice for this breyani. But rest assured it is still delicious. You can double the recipe if you feeding a larger crowd but this was enough for my family of 4, with leftovers.

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One Pot Vegetable Breyani
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Cuisine Indian
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN
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Cuisine Indian
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN
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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. If you are using Basmati rice you can soak it for half hour, add the spices as in STEP 1, season with salt and give it a quick boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you have some egg yellow food colouring you can add some to the rice but this is optional. If you are using long grain rice, such as Tastic (which I've used), you can soak it for half hour, season and cook until it's half done. Here too you can add some food colouring should you wish and fluff with a fork.
  2. Boil the potatoes until they are half cooked and set aside. Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg celcius. Heat oil in a flat pot, add the cinnamon, bay leaf, star aniseed and black cardamom. Allow it to fry for a few seconds, once itl becomes fragrant add the onion.
  3. Add thyme and chilli and let it saute with the onion until the onion is slightly brown. Remove half the onion and set aside.
  4. Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the green beans, carrots and peas. Fry for 3 minutes. Add masala, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, fennel, garam masala and turmeric, mix well and let it saute for 3 minutes. Add tomato and mint, season with salt. Cover and allow it to simmer until tomatoes are cooked.
  5. You can now add the potatoes and rice. Give it a little mix. Pour in a cup of water. Sprinkle the onion on top. If you are using butter you can add that on top too. Cook in the oven for an hour. If you think it needs to cook for longer you can add a little more water and cook until it's fully cooked.
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