It is not hard or unheard of to have a fallback Asian or Indian restaurant during the fast. For awhile, that was us. Regardless of the weather, there was something about ordering out and making the pilgrimage over to the corner Chinese restaurant or to the nearest Indian restaurant. It turned into a quiet and romantic evening even though I could have done without going out when it was rainy or windy outside. And with our nearest Indian restaurant being an hour away, I rather stay cuddled up inside at home. Plus, restaurant tabs get expensive.
Aside from peanut butter, lentils are your go-to for satiating protein and fiber to get through a fasting period. They also have amazing cardiovascular and digestive benefits and are available virtually anywhere for pennies on the dollar. I know, I know, I know. But lentils? You used them already. However, toss in some spices and you have a flavorful and healthy dish with wonderful aromatic fragrances to fill your kitchen. Take this spin on a kashmiri daal style dish. To make it more authentic, add garam masala (but omit the rest of the spices below if using the garam masala) and red chilies which can be found in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.
My version is very simple – I didn’t even bother using veggie broth which adds sodium if that’s an issue. What I did add to the water is garlic and turmeric which surprisingly adds a flavorful and very healthy addition which is just another example of how very simple recipes can still taste flavorful.
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 cup of yellow or green lentils
3.5 cups of water
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of coconut oil
1/2 cup of yellow onion, finely chopped
2 bay leafs
1 inch ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp of turmeric, ground
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of cardamom
1/8 tsp of clove
1/8 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp of paprika
fresh lemon juice, a gentle squeeze to taste
Rinse the beans and peas and allow to soak overnight. Put them into a deep pot with 3 cups of water. Cook for 30 minutes or until they are soft and mushy, which is what you want. Add salt, garlic and turmeric and allow to simmer. Now, take a heavy skillet and add the coconut oil and add the onions, cooking until translucent. In a mortar or pestle or blender, mix up the rest of the spices (excluding the garlic and turmeric) into a smooth paste. You will have to add water, add a few tsps. Add the spice mixture to the onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the spice and onion mixture to the beans. Taste and adjust with seasonings. Cook for a few minutes longer. Serve hot with basmati rice with sprinkled cumin seeds mixed in.