Yellow Dal With Quinoa

Yellow Dal With Quinoa
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 60 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 45 min
Yield 4 servings (330 calories each)

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family and include lentils, beans, and peas. Many diets around the world rely on pulses as a source of protein. This dal recipe pairs yellow split peas with quinoa, a high protein seed that can be prepared and eaten like a grain.

Eating a diet that includes legumes and other sources of plant-based protein may help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure, and help with body weight management, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Regular consumption of legumes and pulses may also reduce risk for certain types of cancers due to their high fiber and antioxidant content. By making at least one to two of the meals you eat each day from mostly plant-based sources, you give yourself more room on the plate to enjoy the vast and delicious world of vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow split peas or lentils
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or finely grated on a microplane
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or cilantro, optional
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

Preparation

  1. Rinse and sort the yellow split peas. Add to a large pot with the onion pieces, ginger, spices, salt, and 4 cups water.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the split peas are tender. Add the pressed garlic after the mixture has been simmering for 20 minutes.
  3. Once tender, turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to roughly puree the mixture, leaving some whole split peas and others pureed, until a thicker texture is created. Alternatively, carefully spoon the mixture into a blender and pulse for a few seconds until desired texture is reached.
  1. Stir in the cherry tomato halves and the fresh chopped herbs. Add additional salt to taste.
  2. Serve with cooked quinoa.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Instead of the cherry tomatoes, you can add finely chopped red or green bell pepper for a burst of color and fresh crunch. Both cherry tomatoes and red bell peppers are low in calories and both contain similar antioxidant compounds due to their red hue.

Instead of quinoa, try this with millet. Millet is another type of high protein, gluten-free seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. Millet, like quinoa, can be prepared in a 1:2 ratio of seed to liquid. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Cover, take off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

Cooking and Serving Tips

You can use either yellow lentils or yellow split peas for this recipe. While both are considered pulses, split peas and lentils come from different varieties of legumes.

Split peas are a type of field pea, which is a pea grown specifically for drying, while lentils are harvested as the seed of the plant and dried. Split peas have a more rounded 3-dimensional shape whereas lentils appear flatter. Both are high in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, and they are both low in fat.

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