Matar Dal

Yellow Split-Pea Curry

1/2 lb. yellow split-peas (about 1 cup)

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/4 tsp salt

Big pinch of ground turmeric

1 1/4 tsp ground cumin

2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of sugar

2-4 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee

Pinch of cumin seeds

2 red or green chiles

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

3/4 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 bay leaf

1/2 lb. slab of bacon or chicken livers, chopped

2 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste

Pinch of monosodium glutamate (optional, can you even find this?)

Pinch of seasoned salt (I used Old Bay)

Pinch of paprika

Wash spilt peas and soak in water for 20 minutes. Boil spilt peas in their soaking water. Add salt and turmeric. Boil for 2 minutes, removing scum. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat. Add ground cumin, lemon juice, coriander, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and sugar to the pot.

Heat vegetable oil or ghee in a large saucepan and cook cumin seeds, chiles, onions, ginger, bay leaf, and bacon or chicken livers for 3-4 minutes. (Or, cook bacon alone until almost crisp, then add other ingredients and cook them.) Add tomato paste, MSG, and seasoned salt. Stirring, add the boiled peas mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and mix well. Cook slowly for 15-30 minutes, adding water if mixture looks too thick.

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