Or a scrumptious soup...
I know I posted about a dal recently, but I just have a soft spot for it. It's warm, nutritious and always delicious.
This one is made with split peas (chana dal) and has a tomato-spinach masala mixed in.
The only thing that takes time is cooking the split peas, but everything else is quick. If you have the time to let stuff sit on the stove but don't want to spend ages in the kitchen, this is a great recipe.
As with most dals, this can be eaten as part of an Indian meal, or with a western meal as a soup. My mum makes a chickpea- ditalini soup from Jamie's Italy and it's my all-time favourite soup. (I'll make it one day and post about it!)
You can try adding some semi-cooked pasta to this dal to turn it into a similar dish and a perfect, balanced meal.
Split Pea & Spinach Dal
Serves 4-5 as a side
About 1 cup Split Peas
A bunch of Spinach, washed and roughly chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, washed and diced small
1 clove of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped or minced
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)
Cumin seeds (Jeera)
Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds)
Sunflower, canola or vegetable oil
To cook your split peas in a pressure cooker, cover them with 2-3 cups of water and cook for about 7 whistles. If you're using a saucepan, cover them with 2-3 cups of water and boil until the split peas split and start to disintegrate a bit and mix into the water.
In the meantime, heat some oil in a saucepan (a small one if you're boiling your split peas in a saucepan, and use a big one if you're cooking the split peas in a pressure cooker).
Add about 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds.
Preferably, the mustard seeds should start to pop, but let it be and add the garlic if the seeds start to burn. Cook the garlic until it gets very lightly coloured and then add the onion. Cook until the onions become faintly golden.
Add the tomatoes, about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, about 2 teaspoon coriander powder and about 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.
Let the tomatoes cook for a couple of minutes and then add the spinach. Stir well, cover and let the spinach cook and wilt for around 5 minutes.
Add the split peas to the masala or the masala to the split peas, depending on which is in the big saucepan. Stir well and add 1/4 teaspoon asfoetida (it gives a lovely smell). Add about a teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix it in to give it a nice colour. Let it all cook for around 3 minutes so that it blends.
Serve Indian-style or as you please