New legume experiment, take 1: split peas.

Nothing to report from tonight, because we had taco salads and there was absolutely nothing remarkable about it. I was going to try to replicate this cilantro-lime vinaigrette that I like at Texas Star, but after going through the trouble of finding all of the pieces to the mini food-processor and cleaning each one lovingly, I threw the cilantro in there and started the process of processing only to remember that, oh yeah, the reason the pieces are all over the kitchen is that it doesn’t work.

So, ultimately, that was a bust. But the cilantro added a nice kick to the salad, anyway.

Last night, I had an event at work that started at 9pm. Which, as we all know, is my usual bedtime. So, I had to figure something out for dinner that 1) involved some of the beans I just bought because we don’t have room for them in the kitchen and 2) would hold me over much longer than usual. Enter Indian lemon rice and roasted curry cauliflower.

lemon rice and roasted cauliflower

and it was all yellow

We had a chili cookoff at work a few weeks or months ago, and one of the dishes that was entered in the contest was this awesome rice with yellow split peas and turmeric and peanuts. I picked up some split peas on a whim on Saturday, so I decided to go for it. It turned out well, though it wasn’t nearly as delicious as the original, so there’s some tweaking that needs to be done. I did some research and sort of based this on this recipe, but mostly I used it as inspiration because I lacked a number of the ingredients and had to make do. Although I’m thinking maybe it was the mustard seed that was missing.

Lemon Rice

ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup dried yellow split peas (channa dal), rinsed and picked over for stones and gross bits
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts or cashews (peanuts are cheaper, but, obviously, they’ve been implicated in a number of disgusting salmonella incidents, so, take your pick)
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t curry powder

instructions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. I used Lundberg Farms California Brown Basmati, which is probably the best brown rice I’ve ever had. Against all odds, it has flavor.
  2. Cook split peas at a low simmer with at least three times as much water for 45 minutes. Drain.
  3. When rice is done, chop peanuts or cashews and toast them in a dry pan over medium heat. When they’re fragrant, stir them into the rice.
  4. Add oil to the pan and crank up the heat to medium-high. Add the split peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until they get crispy. Don’t stir too often or they’ll get mushy. After about five minutes in the pan, add the spices and continue to cook until everything has a nice crust.
  5. Combine rice and split peas. Stir a few times, but again, not too much. Because then the rice gets sticky.
  6. Add about 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Stir again. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes or so.

I think I’m going to try the mustard seeds next time. I remember the one I tried having little seeds in it. I guess I could ask the person who made it, but where’s the challenge in that?

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