Spicy Yellow Split Pea Quinoa Dal

Legumes and whole grains are the complementary protein foods that form the basis of meatless meals all over the world. Quinoa gives this bright yellow soup a nutty complexity, and the germ of the grains form tiny haloes. All the spices in this soup have great health benefits, especially the turmeric. You can always add more vegetables, like cauliflower or bell peppers, and freeze the dal for another day.

1 tablespoon ghee or 1 tablespoon oil
1  large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons minced ginger
 minced jalapeno to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cups yellow split peas, picked over and drained
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
 about 8 cups water, divided
2  carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
 {cayenne} (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
In a 4-quart soup pot, heat the ghee. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened and golden. Add the mustard seeds and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the ginger, jalapeno, cumin, turmeric, and coriander and stir for another minute. Add the split peas, quinoa, and 6 cups of the water and bring to a boil.

When the peas come to a boil, add the carrots to the pot. When it boils again, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, stirring every 10 minutes and adding more water as needed, until the peas are falling apart, just under an hour.

Season the dal with the raw sugar, lemon juice, cayenne to taste (if using), and salt. Purée if you want a smooth texture. Serve with hot flatbreads.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 12

Recipe By: Robin Asbell and Caren Alpert

From:  The New Whole Grains Cookbook
Used with permission of Chronicle Books

Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 160 calories, 2.5g total fat, 5mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate and 7g protein.