Y is for…Yellow Split Peas!
I was tempted not to mention the fact that today is supposed to be “X” not “Y” but I’m pretty sure someone would notice so I’d better own up… I’m very sorry but I just couldn’t come up with an ingredient for X !
Some lovely readers tried to help me out but together we only came up with xanthan gum or xylitol, neither of which I really consider to be foods, and not ingredients I want to highlight in any case. I’m a little disappointed to have got this far and then have to skip a letter and let you all down, but I hope you’ll forgive me and enjoy what I’ve got for you today, even if it’s not what you were expecting.
Much like red lentils, yellow split peas, another of the legume family, are very high in soluble fibre, protein and low in saturated fat. They can be used in very similar ways too, are most often seen in thick curries, dahls and soups and are a traditional ingredient in Indian and African cuisine. They are larger than lentils and take longer to cook. They do soften down to a purée but can also be left with a little bite and used in salads like this tasty looking Persian one (with tahini!), and this Farro, Split Pea and Pea one.
I decided to go with what I’m more familiar with this time and made an Ethiopian-style Yellow Split Pea and Butternut Stew. I love Ethiopian food and am always looking for an excuse to eat injera, the classic Ethiopian flatbread. If you’ve never had it, it’s naturally gluten-free since it’s made with teff flour, and has a unique spongy texture and slightly tangy flavour since the batter is fermented. I make this easy, yeast-free version and it’s pretty reliable, although this batch didn’t turn out as spongy as other times I’ve made it. Since Ethiopian food is eaten with your fingers injera is the perfect thing for scooping up all the tasty stews and side-dishes.
I served the injera and split pea stew with some simple coconut-oil sautéed kale with lemon (my take on the traditional Ye’abesha Gomen ) and a tomato, cucumber salad as it’s nice to have a light dish as a contrast.
There are lots of yellow split pea stews out there (normally called Kik Alicha) but here is mine:
- 1/2 C Split peas, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
- 1 Tbsp Coconut oil ( I love the buttery flavour of coconut oil in this dish but any other cooking oil can be used)
- 1/2 Onion, diced small
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp Ginger, minced/grated finely
- 1/4 tsp Cumin
- 1/8 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1/8 tsp Ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Turmeric
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1-1/2 C Cubed butternut squash (you could also do a mixture of carrots and squash)
- 1-1/2/2 C Water
- Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook, stirring for a minute to toast them.
- Add the split peas, squash and water and bring to the boil. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until the split peas are soft.
- Add more water if you prefer a thinner stew. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve with injera or brown basmati rice and your choice of Ethiopian side-dishes.
Here’s another tasty-looking Ethiopian split pea recipe from Vegan Dad: Potatoes and Peas with Split Pea Purée.
Besides stews, soups, and the salads mentioned above I found a couple of other interesting recipes to share with you:
Another recipe from Heidi: These Potstickers with a Yellow Split Pea and Caramelized Onion Filling sound simply perfect, and for all you hummus-lovers out there, this is a fun Greek variation using yellow split peas instead of chickpeas.
Only one letter left! I’ll be back here tomorrow with my final Vegan MoFo post, featuring the letter Z. I wonder how many of you can guess what ingredient I’m choosing…
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