I was hit by the Universal creative stick last week for sure! Once I had rearranged my furniture, the contents of some cupboards and painted my nails a completely uncharacteristic red I set myself a kitchen challenge – to create my very own dish. First I decided that the dish should reflect the melting pot of cultures in KwaZulu Natal in both character and look, so naturally something curried it had to be! It had to be able to withstand our hot and steamy KZN climate – so it HAD to be a cold dish of sorts. And lastly – I really wanted to use the enamel plated tin espresso cups and plates that I bought from Kobus at Oep ve Koep – die winkel in Paternoster.
My research has revealed that split peas are a great source of protein and are also a very lean and healthy type of cereal, with only 1 gram of fat per 350 calorie serving. Mother Nature designed this natural food source to contain some of the highest amounts of fibre in her larder and we all know that our colons are left full and happy after a meal of split peas – and our bowls regular.
I served this healthy ‘hunga busta’ to hubby and a business colleague Brent, for lunch last week Friday. It was a blistering hot day and they had left lunch up to me. Hubby had eagle-eyed my very UN-Italian kitchen efforts with raised eyebrows and a look of deep disapproval and suspicion. I could tell that he wasn’t at all impressed with the lack of meat and / or pasta in my creation. So, I had to sneak up behind him, so to speak – and whack it on the table when all of his defences were down. Which obviously meant – serve it when someone else was at my table that would welcome its health giving qualities!!! Walla!!!
My plan worked and Brent immediately espoused the goodness and health giving vitality of the dish! Hubby was knocked right off his perch too – he loved it!!! Hehehe … a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do ………… and yes, Italian men are way too fussy!
Curried Split Pea & Apple Espresso’s
1 cup of split peas
6 large granny smith apples – peeled, cored and quartered
3 onions finely chopped
2 large knobs of butter
4tsp of chilli powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
4 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
1 stem of curry leaves
Vegetable or Chicken stock 2 cups
1 tsp of cumin seeds
The juice of one lemon
400ml of cloudy apple juice
Soak the chick peas for an hour – rinse and put into a pot together with the peeled, cored and diced apples. Add just enough water to barely cover the apple and chick peas and bring to the boil. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove and add spoon by spoon to your liquidizer or blender – until the mixture I silky smooth.
In a pot add some butter and brown the garlic, onion and ginger. Now add all of your spices, chillies, salt, pepper and the curry leaves and roast this on a medium heat until the mixture has taken on a nice dark colour and the aroma is right through your kitchen.
If you like your food really hot – add a few extra chillies or some more chilli powder at this point.
Add the roasted onion and spices mix to the liquidised apple and split peas and watch it take on the golden yellow colour from the turmeric. Check for seasoning – I needed to add a fair amount of salt at this point. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
Just before serving add the chilled cloudy apple juice and the juice of one lemon to thin the mixture down – pour into your espresso cup and garnish with a good sprinkle of Dukkah.
I used the Cumin flavoured Dukkah that I bought at Het Vlok Kasteel – serve with crunchy garlic and olive oil seed loaf crostini and some home made apple and raisin chutney!
You could be forgiven for thinking that these are pics of Tuscany in Italy.