A comforting warm dish of yellow split pea dal (a form of kitchari) with tons of spices, served with rice, lime juice + zest, and cucumbers quick-pickled in rice vinegar.
In a medium pot on med-high heat, stir-fry a finely chopped onion in olive oil until softened. Add in your preferred amount of minced ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in about 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground turmeric, ½ tsp ground cardamom, a couple grinds of fresh black pepper and a generous pinch of chili pepper flakes (optional). Stir for another 30 seconds to “bloom” the spices. Then add in about 1 cup of rinsed yellow split peas (hulled mung beans) and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until dal is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 25-30 minutes, check on things after about 15 min, adding more water or cooking it a bit longer to get the consistency you like. Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, slice a couple Persian cucumbers and toss with a pinch of sugar and a drizzle of unseasoned rice vinegar. Set aside. Cook a batch of fragrant rice, such as basmati or jasmine.
To serve: ladle some dal over rice in a bowl, drizzle with lime, sprinkle with lime zest, top with pickled cucumbers.
Recipe adapted from the “Spiced Dal + Salty Yogurt” recipe @bonappetitmag.