Dal Curry (or Potato, Tomato Curry Soup) UPDATED

Tasty soup, and quick with a pressure cooker. I got inspiration from this book, which has a lot of good sauce and spice recipes. The yellow split peas break down into a smooth soup, accentuated by potato and tomato. For us, one jalapeno and one serrano, with seeds included, was just the right spiciness. This is perfect served on a bed of basmati rice.

11/5/2009 UPDATE: after making this recipe for months (original post was 4/2008!), I figured I'd make a few updates to make the recipe more true to how I am making it these days!

In Pressure Cooker:
1/2 C yellow split peas or "channa dal"
2.5 C water or veggie broth
1 potato, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 tea cayenne
1/4 tea turmeric, ground
1/4 tea fenugreek seeds (optional)

Get it bubbling, then cover with lid and cook on high pressure for 3-5 minutes. Take off the burner and let it cool down in order to take the lid off. If you cook too long, the split peas get too mushy, so if you are unsure, take off pressure sooner and finish stove-cooking if not yet done.

While that's happening, saute 1 onion, cut into half and then into rings, in olive oil until browned.

Pull onion off heat, and pulse into smooth paste in food processor with:
1 TB grated ginger (microplane tools are my favorite for grating ginger)
2 cloves garlic, finely food processed with the onion
1 jalapeno chile and 1 serrano chile, with seeds, food processed with the above

In hot pan with olive oil, throw into pan and cook until slightly browned or the mustard seeds pop:
1/4 tea mustard seeds
1/2 tea cumin seeds

Now add the onion (and ginger, garlic, chili) mixture and stir. After a couple minutes over medium heat, add & stir for 2 more minutes:
1 tea ground coriander
1/2 tea ground cumin

1/2 tea cinnamon (or more if you like)
1/4 tea nutmeg

Now transfer the spiced onion mix into the cooked split peas/dal and stir. Add:
1-2 tomatoes, cubed
1/2 tea salt

Cook another couple minutes to warm through and soften tomato. Serve with basmati rice, and optional toasted coconut (see below for directions on toasting coconut).

Optional: toast 1/4 C coconut in a nonstick pan (the dirty spice pan works fine) to use as garnish over soup over basmati rice.

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