Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yellow Split Peas with Potato and Red Chard Dhal, Quinoa with Peas and Shallot (No Added Fat)

My Dad is visiting and asked for a thin yellow split pea dhal. I had yellow split peas on hand; they are so easy to pressure cook using a ratio of part split peas to three parts water for 6-10 minutes. I picked up some red chard today, and wanted to cook with it and potato. Though my daughter doesn't like ginger, it is so healthful that I still used it with the meal. Here is what I did.

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow or green split peas
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Medium russet potato cut into 3/4" cubes (2 cups)
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1T Fresh ginger finely (1/8") grated
  • Head of chard (or other green - crunchy like chard or bok choy is preferable)
  • (Optional) Apple core
  • 3/4 t (or to taste) salt (I used a combination of my usual Himalayan pink salt, as well as kala namak, "black salt" that is actually pink in color)
  • 2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1t lemon or lime juice
  1. I rinsed the split peas several times then combined them with the water, bouillon cube, potato, turmeric, cumin, and ginger.
  2. I wanted to cook some of the chard down so it was soft or even dissolved into the dish so that my Dad could easily get some greens. I cut the bottoms off of the chard up to the greens, and diced to 1/4" cubes (about 1/2 cup), and added the cubes. I cross-cut the rest of the chard, stem and leaves together, into 1" squares and reserved them.
  3. My wife had just sliced some apple and I had the idea of throwing in the apple core to see if it would lend a bit of a slight sweetness, so I did.
  4. I set my Instant Pot pressure cooker to 8 minutes and closed it.
  5. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure.
  6. I was going to remove the apple core and put it in the compost pile, but it must have cooked into the dhal as I couldn't find it! (I'm taking some leftovers to friends; maybe one of them will find an apple seed or two.)
  7. I added the salt, onion, and lemon juice, and served my Dad. I quite liked the taste, and he seemed to enjoy it.
  8. To the rest of the dish I added the chard squares, mixed, and let sit for about 5 minutes so the chard could cook just a bit in the remaining heat.
I also made a simple quinoa dish by briefly sauteeing, with no oil, sliced shallot, then adding quinoa and twice as much water, as well as a vegan bouillon cube, a little turmeric, a little salt, and a little ground cumin. I brought to a boil and simmered for 3 or 4 minutes, covered, then turned the heat off, mixed in some frozen peas, and re-covered the pan for another 10m or so.

We all loved the dhal. It had a nice, hearty flavor, and the greens added an extra health boost and nice flavor and texture dimension. I loved the potato cubes - done perfectly for this dish, yielding nicely to tongue pressure in the mouth but otherwise maintaining shape. Surprisingly, my daughter normally doesn't like quinoa, but quite liked it today. She also didn't complain at all about the ginger - yay!

Ideas for the future

A few cloves of garlic would have been nice cooked with the dhal, as well as perhaps a bit of jalapeno. Let me remember - 3/4" cubes of potato cooked in water for 8 minutes is yummy!


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