This is absolutely the best dish ever. Chana Dal & Collards. Chana Dal is a bean that hails from India. It resembles yellow split peas. The authentic Chana Dal is rare here in the United States. So, yellow split peas stand in as a second. Chana Dal does not boil down as the split peas do. I think that’s what I like about it. It becomes the consistency of mashed potatoes.
As I mention in my Hearty Vegan Split Pea Soup Post, yellow split peas are hard to find for some reason. However, I have always been able to find them at Whole Foods in the Bulk Section. I usually really, really stock up when I do buy them because I don’t get there very often. And I want to be sure I always have them on hand for when I get in the mood to have this delectable dish. I actually sigh after my first several spoons full. Picture me with my eyes closed and reveling in deliciousness. And knowing that it’s all healthy with no oil and just the goodness of the greens and the yellow split peas. Ahhh!
And, of course, the dark green of these collards means they are full of nutrients. Sometimes that stem is bitter. You can leave it in if you want, but I usually cut the lower, thicker portion out.
This is called a chiffonade cutting technique. Place 6 or 8 collard leaves (you can do this with Kale too when making salads) one on top of the other. Then, as pictured above, cut into strips, about 1/4″ thick. When finished cutting into strips, take your knife and go down lengthwise, either in the middle or two lengthwise cuts and slice into smaller pieces.
This is what you will add to the peas at the end of the cooking cycle.
And here is the finished dish. My mouth begins to water before I even dive into it.
Chana Dal & Collards
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 8 cups water
SPICE AND COLLARD MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
- About 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds which is a powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bunch collard greens, chopped (thick stems removed and no long stringy pieces. Or, use spinach or Kale
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large pot, combine the yellow split peas and water
- Bring to boil. Skim the top if necessary
- Turn to simmer and cook until done, about an hour
- While dal is cooking, heat a pot over medium high heat. Add the 1/4 cup water and add all the spices. Saute briefly. Add garlic and onion and cook for about 10 minutes. Add collard greens and cook another two minutes until they are wilted and done. Watch and stir or this will burn
- When dal is cooked, add the salt and the spice and collard mixture to the dal. Gently simmer together for about 5 minutes. Add more water (just enough, not too much) if it is too thick. It tends to thicken as it cools
- This is good as is or served over brown rice or quinoa