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I took the day off work on Friday of last week. My poor pooch is suffering from a mystery nose ailment and is, for the time being, en-coned. She’s feeling quite sorry for herself and has been signed off doggy daycare and dog-walker walkies by the vet, so I stuck around to give extra belly rubs and take her on a solo walk.
I always get proper domestic on legitimate days off work. I enjoy pottering about the house (read: not being at the office) and more often than not I’ll get the slow cooker out for an easy, hearty dinner. C was out volunteering for the day so I was free to prance about the house, chopping veg and washing towels and such.
I’ve pretty much never met a dhal I didn’t like. I decided to go a bit rogue and mix up green split peas and red lentils this time; I rinsed the split peas but I didn’t bother soaking since they were due to be cooked sloooooooowly for most of the day.
The base I’ve used here is pretty much my standard curry base. I buy fresh garlic, ginger root and turmeric root for super cheap in a Chinese supermarket near to my place of work. For less than a fiver I can get enough of all three to last me a couple of months.
I’ve built up a pretty good collection of herbs and spices over the years; I find the best place to stock up for cheap is your local ethnic supermarket. You can get whopping bags of spice for less than the price of one supermarket jar (e.g. Schwartz, etc). Keep your old jam jars and fill ’em up!
You could easily make this dhal on the stovetop. Maybe just add a wee bit more liquid, and cook for a long time over a slow heat. You might want to soak your split green peas for a couple of hours beforehand, too.
- 1 cup dried green split peas (rinsed)
- 1 cup dried red lentils (rinsed)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-6 fat garlic cloves
- 1 or 2 thumb sized pieces of ginger root
- a good sized piece of turmeric root
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- vegetable oil
- 3 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1.5 pints vegetable stock
- a handful of curry leaves
In a small food processor, thoroughly blend the garlic, ginger and turmeric root with enough vegetable oil to make a smooth paste.
Heat the paste in a small, lidded saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
When the mustard seeds have mostly finished their popping, put the onion and chopped tomato into the pan and stir well. Stir in the rest of the spices.
Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the lentils and the stock. Throw in the curry leaves and cook on low for around 6-8 hours. Check periodically in case you need to top up with water.
I served with a big ol’ naan bread (did you know Asda sell vegan naan now, by The Clay Oven?) and felt good and cosy while the rain lashed outside!