Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Slow-cooker split pea dal

Lately I've felt like I'm in a recipe glut. I have a massive array of cookbooks, an assortment of recipe sites I frequent, and a husband who shrugs his shoulders when I ask if he'd like anything in particular. CSA season is over until November so I can't let the farmer's market be my guide. So, I've gotten in the habit of checking Is My Blog Burning? to see if any food blogging events inspire me. I came across this event, instructing participants to create a healthy dish rich in fiber.

I surfed over to one of my favorite nutrition sites, World's Healthiest Foods, and checked out which foods are good sources of dietary fiber. Split peas? Cauliflower? Dark leafy greens? Reminds me of a dish I made in the slow cooker a few months ago. Even better that it is an Indian-inspired dish, as the event host writes an Indian food blog!

I love doing dal in the slow cooker. I don't worry about overcooking, because it's supposed to turn to mush anyway. Red lentils are the creamiest, chana dal is the most coarse, but yellow split peas are somewhere in the middle. I started out with an array of assertive spices:

Clockwise from top left: 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tbs brown mustard seeds, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tbs ground coriander, 1 tbs ground cumin, and a bay leaf. If you're lazy, just use 3 tablespoons of good-quality curry powder.

Dump all this in your slow cooker with a 3 1/2 cups water, 1/2 tbs salt, 1 cup yellow split peas, 1 cup of diced onion, 1/2 tbs minced fresh ginger (or a few chunks of it, if you're lazy) , and a small head of cauliflower (organic cauliflower is usually the right size), broken into large florets. Don't be afraid of keeping the cauliflower in big pieces, because it'll break up later, but if you cut it too small it'll turn to mush. Cook on low for 6 hours, then to finish it off, turn the slow cooker to high and dump in a 10 oz bag of spinach. Stir until combined (the stirring with break up the cauliflower) and serve!


Sangeeth said...

lovely entry for the event Erica......thanks for trying out something indian....:)

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