Friday, July 21, 2017

Split Pea Dhal with Plantain and Fennel (No Added Fat)

My wife's brother is visiting from India - it's the first time he's been to the U.S.! I thought that his first meal should be an Indian one. His wife is from Goa, so I thought I'd use a plantain, which grows there. I decided to make a split pea dish with mixed vegetables and plantain. Here is what I did.

  • 2 cups split peas (green or yellow - I used green)
  • 6 cups water
  • Medium plantain cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (almost 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2T fennel stalk chopped into 1/4" pieces (about a 6" length of a thin stalk)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely (1/8") minced
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (they come cut in small 1/4" or so cubes)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1t kala namak (black salt)
  • 1/2 t salt (or just 1 1/2 t salt with no black salt)
  1. I put the split peas, water, plantain, fennel, garlic, and mixed vegetables into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 10m (split peas cook in a 1:3 ratio for 8-10m and I wanted a thick stew, so went with 10m).
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lemon juice, and salt.
I also made brown basmati rice by soaking 2 cups of the rice for a while (maybe 45m but longer would have been better), rinsing, and simmering, covered, for 45m in fresh 4 cups of water, along with 6 cardamom pods and a pinch of salt.


The dhal was good. Surprisingly, I didn't taste any fennel. The plantain flavor was subtle. Most importantly, my brother-in-law said that he liked the whole meal!

Ideas for the future

I should use plantain more often - but use it so the taste is more pronounced, such as via waterless cooking or cooking under pressure for less time and cut into larger pieces.

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