Indian-spiced mixed legumes (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

An Indian market has an endless supply of legumes to try, and this dish is a great way to experiment. This particular combination has sweetness and chew from the chana dal (split baby chickpeas) and the split peas, while the lentils  thicken the mix. If you don’t have an Indian grocery nearby, use whatever canned or dried beans, split peas, and lentils you enjoy. Soaking the legumes shortens the cooking time, and curry powder is a good substitute for the list of spices. Serve as a side dish or over rice or pasta.

Ingredients
  • chana dal or whole moong dal
  • split peas
  • red lentils or lentils of choice
  • avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • leek, halved and sliced, or shallot, chopped
  • halved cherry tomatoes, chopped regular tomatoes, or canned tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • garlic, sliced or chopped
  • fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • fennel seeds
  • curry powder
  • ground turmeric
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • chile powder
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Method
  • Wash and drain the legumes. Put them in a large bowl, cover with hot water by several inches, let soak for an hour or two, rinse, and drain.
  • Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the mixture becomes saucy.
  • Stir in the legumes and cook for a minute or two. Add enough water to cover by half an inch, cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the legumes are almost soft. Add more water if the mixture becomes dry. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and cook for a minute or two. Add the spices and cook until the legumes are completely soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and serve.
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