Spring, summer, fall, or winter, I cannot get enough of this dish. It requires no work, and it awards you with a load of fragrant wholesomeness. It is rewarding: It can act as a soup, a curry, even a spread. It is forgiving: You can change the quantities and the cooking time and it's still going to love you back. It is friendly: It likes rice and it likes pita bread. Plus, it costs a couple of bucks to make and sometimes I feel like it's the couple of bucks best spent. —QueenSashy
Test Kitchen Notes
An aromatic golden hued curry that blends Indian-ish yellow spilt peas with fragrant Thai flavors in delicious harmony. The earthiness of the peas, subtle heat of the curry paste, creamy lusciousness of the coconut milk -- all splashed with a hint of tart lime juice and citrusy lemongrass -- come together just beautifully for a warm, comforting meal. It's even more delightful when spooned over nutty Basmati rice! —shailini sisodia
In a medium saucepan, cover the peas with hot water. Rinse several times, until the water is very clear.
In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and simmer for about two minutes. Add the split peas, curry paste, coconut milk, and two cups of water, and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add lemongrass, lime zest and garlic, and season with salt. Cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Simmer for about 75 minutes, until the peas begin to fall apart. (Note that after about 40 minutes, the peas will be barely tender -- continue to simmer way past that point, until the peas begin to fall apart and turn into a chunky purée.)
Remove the curry from the stove and add the lime juice.
Let the curry rest for about an hour. You may be tempted to serve it immediately, but the peas will continue to absorb the flavors, and your patience will be rewarded. As it cools, the curry will continue to thicken, and you might have to thin it with water. Reheat gently before serving. Serve the curry either as chunky purée with warm pita or naan, or “soupier,” with steamed basmati rice.
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.