I met a lovely Indian lady named Nisha a few years ago and she invited me into her home and taught me some basic Indian cooking skills. Her family has always cooked everything from scratch and all their recipes have been handed down the generations. They are absolutely the picture of health.This isn't one of her recipes (they are top secret!) but it's an adapted quick version and one of my most frequently cooked family meals (no chilli version for kids). The spices (especially turmeric) is highly anti inflammatory, antioxidant and digestive and the split peas give a good hit of fibre and plant based proteins. You can add yogurt, a grated carrot salad or even a little mango chutney.
3 tablespoons of ghee or butter
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli (I use bullet chilli but adjust to your spice preference), thinly sliced with or without seeds
2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon of black or brown mustard seeds
Small handful of curry leaves (fresh or dried)
1 1/2 cups dried yellow spilt peas
3 cups stock/broth
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin coconut cream
Melt the butter or ghee a large pot on medium heat.
Add the onion and cook until soft and transparent.
Add garlic, ginger, chilli. Give a good stir.
Add in all the spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the spices don't burn.
Pour in the tin of tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the tin of coconut cream, broth and split peas. Stir well.
Cook for 40-50 minutes on low to medium heat until the split peas are soft. You may need to add more broth if it starts to look dry.
Serve with steamed rice or whole meal roti and lots of fresh coriander.