This bright dish is stewed goodness. It has a depth and uniqueness that feels like it is simmered for hours, but the reality is this comes together quite quickly. The ingredients are humble, and the flavours are balanced well with a simple rice, a cooling yogurt, and a fresh herb. Toasting the spices is a traditional process to enhance their flavour and add dimension. Add some heat with harissa or any other chilli flake if you desire.
- 1 cup (200g) yellow pigeon peas (toor daal), rinsed, soaked for 30 minutes, and drained
- 1 quart (960ml) chicken stock or water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 (1/2-inch / 12mm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 San Marzano tomatoes (10oz/280g), crushed by hand
- 2 small Thai chiles
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups (300ml) unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups (350g) cooked white basmati rice
- 1 cup (240ml) good-quality store-bought or homemade plain yogurt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (13g) fresh wild mint leaves, torn
- beet-pickled vegetables
- juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- 2 garlic confit cloves
- 2 tablespoons garlic confit oil, plus more for serving
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) ice water
1. In a stockpot, combine the pigeon peas, chicken stock or water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Add the turmeric, ginger, tomatoes, and chiles and simmer, uncovered until the pigeon peas are very tender, 50-55 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the cumin, curry powder, and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Once the pigeon peas have finished cooking, stir in the spice mixture and coconut milk.
4. To serve, spoon some basmati rice into four bowls and top with a few lades of pigeon peas. Garnish each with a dollop of yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, wild mint leaves, and pickled vegetables.