I just found an old recipe I had saved from a Moosewood cookbook and I wanted to make the Curried Dal with Vegetables for dinner last night. I have been eating mostly vegetarian meals these days and I thought the substantial curried vegetables with lentils would be a nice change. I had most of the ingredients on hand, except that I did not have the yellow split peas or the red lentils it suggested. I just had a bag of plain old lentils. I reasonably thought - they are the same vegetable - what difference could it make?? Maybe they will cook a little differently????Well, the recipe itself turned out fine, except the color of my lentils made the whole meal look as though it was held together by gray concrete - it tasted just as good, but it did not look so appetizing.
If you want to try it yourself - here's the recipe: Cook one cup of lentils in water. Add 4 cups of water for the red lentils or 5 cups of water for the yellow split peas. If you want your meal to look appetizing, I urge you not to use the regular lentils like I did (see the paragraph above.) Simmer the lentils on low, uncovered for 20 minutes. Let cool a bit and then add the lentils to a blender or food processor and puree for 2-3 minutes to make a smooth dal. In the meantime, cut up a whole onion and saute it in olive oil. To the cooked onion, add 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in cubes, 1 TBSP mild yellow curry, tsp cumin, and 2 TBSP grated fresh ginger root. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes and then add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of fresh cauliflower florets. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Add the smooth dal and serve over rice. I think the original recipe called for one green chile, cooked with the onion, and torn up spinach to be added to the vegetables at the end and cooked just long enough to wilt, but I didn't have a green chile or any fresh spinach on hand and it was fine without it.
Good luck with yours and if anyone makes it with the red lentils or yellow split peas, let me know if it was pretty!