Good morning everyone,
Dals are common in our house. These yellow split peas are an important source of carbs, fibre and protein in our vegetarian diets. Unlike other dals, this dal is quicker to make, because the peas do not have to be soaked ahead of time.
Dals are typically eaten with rice here but they can be served as a side with other dishes, with roti, with naan or even on their own.
Matar means pea in Punjabi and you can substitute dried green pea for these yellow split peas. I prefer the flavour of the yellow peas though so that is generally what I use.
Matar Dal (Yellow Split Pea Dal)
1 cup yellow split peas, dried and picked through to ensure no debris remains
2 cups water or light vegetable stock
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 generous teaspoon ghee or butter
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
a pinch of hing (asatofieda) (optional)
Place the peas and water (or vegetable broth) together in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat to low, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Add the turmeric, red chili powder and salt, mix thoroughly and cover. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the yellow split peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Add water as necessary to prevent the peas from drying out and burning.
While you are waiting for the split peas to cook, in a skillet, melt the ghee. Cook the onion, cumin and cloves for 5 to 6 minutes over medium high heat, until the onions are translucent.
Add the onion and spices to the split peas, and allow to simmer for at least 20 more minutes.
There you have it! Matar dal!
You can up the spice level in this dish by adding some fresh chili with the onion.
Some people have a reaction to hing that can include stomach cramping, flatulence and constipation. If you have these issues after using hing, you can lose it in any recipe. It adds a slight tangy flavour to dishes and a little lemon or lime juice will perform a similar function without the digestive issues.
Until next time!
Peace and love,