Vegan Split Pea Dal With Ginger and Coconut

Vegan Split Pea Dal With Ginger and Coconut

This simple dal gets its flavor from whole spices such as cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds, along with coconut, chilies, and ginger.

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The flavors in this traditional Indian dal intensify as the whole spices sit in the soup, so the dal tastes even better the next day. Serve this savory split chickpea dal from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen cookbook over rice or with flatbread.

What you need:

1 cup split chickpeas, washed, soaked for 1 hour, and drained
3½ cups water
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons coconut oil 
¼ cup large coconut flakes, dry or fresh
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
Seeds of 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
3 whole dried red chilis 
1 (1-inch) knob of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped raw cashews
2 tablespoons raisins
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, for garnish

What you do:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine split chickpeas, water, and turmeric. Partially cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until peas are very tender. Stir in salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add coconut and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Remove coconut from pan, leaving oil in pan, and set aside. To pan, add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, bay leaves, and cloves, and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Break red chilis in half and add to pan. Add ginger, cashews, and raisins and cook until cashews are golden, about 1 minute. Add to simmering dal and mix well. Mash mixture slightly. 
  4. Stir in half of coconut. Simmer covered for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with remaining coconut flakes and red pepper flakes. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves just before serving.
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