DHAL

Dhal, a staple in Trinidadian cooking. We make this dish alongside curries or to be eaten alone like a soup or with roti *flat bread*. It’s healthy, flavorful and filling.

So funny story, when I was a teenager I was a bit rebellious *What? Really?! No way!*… I know, hard to believe right!? Anyway, my mom was forcing me to learn how to cook and I wanted no part of it, so I was throwing a hissy fit about cooking dhal and deliberately doing it wrong so she would just get mad at me and shoo me away. Well….she didn’t and I got a pot spoon thrown at me and she made me count each grain of dhal *split peas* in the package! Ever since then I’ve hated dhal and refused to make it! *Yeah! I’ll show her!!*

Years later, I’m pregnant and craving dhal and I didn’t know how to make it! According to Caribbean superstition, when you get pregnancy cravings and you don’t satisfy it, your child will be born with a birthmark shaped like what you were craving! And I was not about to have a child with a dhal birthmark on his head! 😁

Luckily my sister Giselle was visiting me and she is the best dhal maker I know *Yeah! Take that mom!!*, so I paid close attention and wrote down this recipe. I like my dhal not too thick and not too runny, just in the middle.

RECIPE
1 cup yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups water
7 grains garlic
1/2 onion chopped (medium)
1/2 habanero pepper ( keep whole if you want the flavor and not the heat)
1/4 tsp saffron powder
2 pimento peppers finely chopped (or you can use jalapeños)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp whole geera (cumin)

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak split peas for a couple hours and drain.
2. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water and then add the peas.
3. Add the 5 garlic grains, onion, peppers and saffron powder.
4. Let boil until peas are very soft and tender.
5. In a small pan, heat oil and add 2 grains garlic and geera, let it brown over low heat.When the garlic is brown, carefully pour the oil mixture into your split peas. (This process is called chunkaying)

6. Whisk the mixture or puree until smooth and add salt to taste (about a tsp)

TIP: If your dhal is too thick you can add hot water until you get to your desired texture.

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Roasted Garlic Asparagus

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  • 1 34-2 lbs fresh crisp asparagus
  • 1cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper(to taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a small pan over low heat until garlic becomes golden and oil becomes fragrant; remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Bend asparagus gently until it breaks at a natural point and discard ends.
  4. Toss asparagus pieces with infused olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet (one with a side edge).
  5. Season asparagus with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast at 400F  for 12 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  7. Serve hot.