While in Provo, we
tricked talked a bunch of our friends into buying seven peaks season passes and as a result, got 70 dollars of credit to Groupon. Which seems like a really good deal. But then they proceeded to have coupons for nothing but $10 off 15 lbs. of cat food and 1/2 off a liposuction session when you buy three more. And while bulk fat removal treatments are usually my favorite thing, we just didn’t need them this summer.
So, when we found a coupon for a cooking class it felt like a dream come true. They had classes for knife skills and macarons and french culinary basics and even a vegetarian class. For a cooking nerd like me, it was very hard to pick. The class that I finally decided on was the Indian Feast.
Total coincidence: ran into an old friend from BYU and his wife who love cooking too. It was really fun to see them, although unfortunately I got put into a group with a bunch of slightly drunk cooking hogs instead. Seriously- I had to get pretty pushy if i wanted a turn to stir the food or chop anything. Probably the only situation where people would fight over cooking haha.
We made samosas with cucumber raita and dakshini murgh (chicken coriander coconut curry-say that five times fast) and chapati and dhal. I learned lots of good tricks including how to peel ginger-with a spoon! and how to chop onions perfectly. It was all delicious but my favorite was the dhal. Dhal is the mashed potatoes of the indian food world (except healthier), total comfort food, and this recipe was extra tasty (airplane food…that’s not tasty)(that there is a little shout out to anyone who was at the infamous worsley family reunion talent show 2011)
Dhal (split pea curry)(pictured above, it’s the mushy looking pile towards the front, better than it looks I swear)
8 ounces yellow split peas
5 cups water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp ghee (melt butter over low heat 10-30 minutes until milky residue turns into golden particles and then strain through several layers of cheesecloth, important because it can be cooked at higher temperatures than normal butter)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
-Combine split peas and water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-high. Bring to a boil, then skim off foam that rises to the top of the pan.
-Reduce to a simmer and add the turmeric and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer gently until the peas are tender and just beginning to break down, about an hour. Add more water as needed if they get dry. Stir every 5 minutes during the last 20 minutes to prevent sticking. Stir in the salt, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
-Heat ghee in a small sautee pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds and garlic to the hot ghee. Sautee until the garlic pieces are lightly browned, then add the cayenne pepper. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour entire contents into the pan with the dhal. Stir to mix, then top with cilantro.
*I like to add some diced tomatoes to cook in the sautee pan too when I want to mix it up.