Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Dal with Rice


My family loves legumes. We enjoy them in a variety of dishes from salads to comforting stews. They're an easy way to create a satisfying vegetarian course full of flavor and protein. The advantages of making them a staple in your meal-planning go beyond good taste--they are economical as well.

legume dal in bowl

Legumes are fruits that have been dried. In France, the word "legume" means vegetable, while in the english language it identifies specifically the dried fruits inside pods. Its wide-spread use is not surprising. One can imagine how easy it would have been for different varieties to cross borders, as people migrated. Through-out history, it has been used as an excellent source of protein or an extender when meat was scarce. From the tiny lentil to the fatty peanut, they vary widely in size, taste, fat content and texture.

This recipe is a perfect example of how you can turn legumes into a fantastic meal. It features split peas and chana dal, as well as creamy pumpkin, an array of spices and fragrant basmati rice.

legume dal rice bowl served

Legume Puree with Pumpkin and Rice (serves 6-8)
If you cannot find chana dal (available at natural/health food stores and Indian markets), replace it with some yellow split peas instead and proceed as per the recipe.

1 cup chana dal
1 cup green spilt peas
4 cups diced pumpkin, or butternut squash
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried funegreek leaves

4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cooked basmati rice

Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt (I favor goat yogurt)
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chaat masala seasoning (available in international or indian markets)

Soak the chana dal and split peas overnight. Rinse well. Transfer to large pot with diced pumpkin, turmeric, ground cumin, water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the peas, beans and pumpkin are very tender.

In a small pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute until they start to sizzle and crackle. Pour fragrant mixture into the dal pot along with the cooked rice. Mix well. Let simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens slightly. Make sure you mix often.

Make the yogurt sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl (keep refrigerated until ready to serve with the dal).

Serve the dal/rice mixture in a bowl, topped with a generous spoon of the yogurt sauce.

legume rice dal close-up

Artsy-Foodie's Announcement:
During this busy time of the year, in order to keep up the quality of my posts, I feel the need to go to biweekly postings. From now on, I will be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and additionally for special events such as Daring Bakers. I have some wonderful recipes in the works-- I look forward to sharing them with you.

More legume recipes:
Edamame Avocado Spread
Black Lentil Soup with Kale and turnip chips


Stacey Snacks said...

I love the Alpica bowls.
I have the same ones.
They are my favorite! I treated myself to the large gratin dish last year......the price of a nice pair of shoes

VeggieGirl said...

My family and I loooove legumes as well. Your dish looks lovely!!

Elra said...

What a wonderful, delicious and healthy meal. I like the addition of pumpkin on your dish.

By the way, I also have that pots de crème bowls, but they're not "Alpica" mine are "Pillivuyt". Just love that brand.

Jeanine said...

That looks delicious. I don't use legumes enough, it is something I should look into more. :)
I look forward to Tuesday's & Thursday's now! Keep on cookin'!

Anonymous said...

Hi Alexa,
Mmm that looks really good, just like my type of comfort food (especially for this time of year). I think I will make it this weekend - it looks like an easy but satisfying meal.

Anonymous said...

Mm looks so yummy! Nothing like dal and rice. My personal favorite comfort food. Your version looks like it would fit the bill!

Kevin said...

This sounds really healthy and good.

Mary Ann said...

I can't tell you how much I wish I was eating at your house. I would love this dish. I want some right now! I also love your posts. I learn so much!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great - it seems like a great one-dish meal for a weeknight, healthy and delicious.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Your dishes always catch my eye. This sounds like another excellent mix of flavors that never would have occurred to me but sounds oh so good (and surprisingly easy!).

syrie said...

I love daal and the addition of pumpkin is an excellent idea.

Food Photography said...

looks yummy...

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