Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yellow Split Peas and Spinach in a Yogurt-Peanut Sauce

This isn't an attractive dish, but it does taste like comfort food. The flavours all work together very nicely, even for someone who usually isn't a huge fan of yogurt.

Two years ago: Baked French Toast with Raspberries and Walnuts

Yellow Split Peas and Spinach in a Yogurt-Peanut Sauce (from 660 Curries)

1 cup yellow split peas
280g spinach leaves, well-rinsed
2 tbsp unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
2 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, stems removed
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
12 - 15 fresh curry leaves
2 lengthwise slices gender, cut into matchstick-thin strips (2.5"x1"x1/8")
2 tbsp ghee or canola oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground asafetida

1. Place split peas in medium saucepan. Fill with water and rinse peas. Drain. Repeat 3 or 4 times until water is clear. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, skimming off foam.
2. Add spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until it wilts. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until split peas are tender and spinach is olive green, 30 - 35 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine peanuts and chiles in mortar. Pour until it forms a chunky mass.
4. In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle in chickpea flour and whisk. Stir in salt, turmeric, half of curry leaves, and ginger. Stir in pounded peanut mixture.
5. When peas are tender, mash with a potato masher until leaves break down and some of the peas squish.
6. Stir in yogurt sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15 minutes.
7. Heat ghee in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover, and cook until seeds have stopped popping. Remove from heat and sprinkle in asafetida and remaining curry leaves.
8. Stir mustard and leaf mixture into curry. Serve.

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