250 grms split peas
2 chopped onions
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
a dozen or so whole black peppercorns
Your chosen curry spices –
I used a pinch of chilli flakes
2 chopped pickled birds eye chillies
2 heaped tsps dhania (ground coriander/cumin mix)
I would have added a heaped tsp of turmeric but have foolishly run out.
Bring the peas to boil in 3 or 4 times their volume of water with the bayleaf and peppercorns. Skim off froth and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep your eye on them as they easily boil over. You may need to add more water.
When the peas are almost ready, pour a good glug of oil into a frying pan, fry the onions over a low heat for 10 minutes or so until just starting to colour. Increase heat to medium, add the spices and garlic (chopped or crushed) and stir for five minutes or so.
At this stage, add 1 tsp salt to the peas, tip in the spices and onions and stir well. I also add a dozen or so grinds of black pepper.
Simmer and stir for a few minutes to blend the flavours.
Enjoy with rice, pitta bread, chapati, as a side dish, whatever.
Very adaptable dish – you could add chopped potatoes to the peas for the last 20 minutes or so, chopped fresh tomatoes for 10 minutes or 250grms or so of spinach for the last few minutes.
I like to buy my spices, veg, pulses, yoghurt, etc. at Sharif’s in Nottingham, the best Asian greengrocer for miles around.