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Yellow split pea dhal

This is a lovely, warming dhal, the earthiness balanced by the lemon juice.  Make a double portion and freeze half for another dinner.   I’m eating more of this sort of meal in the run-up to the great Christmas splurge in a couple of weeks.

For 2
100g (about half a large mug) dried yellow split peas
1.5 cm fresh ginger, grated on the fine side of your grater
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 dstsp coconut oil
1 level tsp cumin, ground
½ tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
2 bay leaves
1 level tsp mixed spice
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the split peas in 3 times their volume of water along with the ginger, until tender (do not allow to dry out completely).  This takes around 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sweat the onion in a covered pan with the oil and 1 dessertspoon of water, when the onions are translucent, add all the spices, bay leaves and garlic and stir for a minute.
3. Add the split pea mixture (you may need to drain off some water) and cook until the split peas are beginning to crumble.
4. Add lemon juice and black pepper to taste

Serve with:
4 large handfuls of steamed vegetables eg. sliced kale, green beans, Brussels sprouts, wilted spinach and, if you like, some starchy carbs like roasted squash wedges, celeriac or turnip.  If you are NOT on the SC diet, some brown rice is another option.

Why this is good for you
Garlic and spices are profoundly anti-inflammatory.  This is partly because they help reduce numbers of disease-causing bacteria in your intestine while also promoting growth of helpful species.  But spices also contain polyphenolic substances.  These stimulate your body to increase antioxidant activity to keep you in peak condition and delay the ageing process.   Split peas, garlic and onions contain soluble fibre which feeds beneficial bacteria.  The peas are also rich in magnesium needed for great stress management, good sleep and beautiful skin (amongst other things).