Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Green Split Peas with Acorn Squash

Dazzling Dals ~ Matar Kadoo Ki Dal

Last week I watched a documentary on pumpkins called “Lords of the Gourd,” on PBS. The effort that goes into the giant pumpkin production was really amazing to see. Pumpkins were bathed in milk for prize winning looks, fed on bathtub sized fertilizer solutions, and grown to a groan-inducing size of 800, 1,200, 1,500 pounds – it’s pumpkin passion, godzilla style. The documentary covered many aspects of this competition craziness, but they forgot to mention how these giant pumpkins taste. It doesn’t matter I guess.

If I ever participate in such competition, my pumpkin would be nourished on food blogs feed.:) Thousands of food blogs and all those mouthwatering recipes, the baby pumpkin would have no choice but turn in to a big balloon. Here is the rough sketch of how-to setup. The overfed champion would not only be big, but I am confident that it would also win in taste department. If not, I can always rely on my prized pumpkin recipe “Matar-Kadoo ki Dal”, the kind of dish that will thrill the taste buds and delight the eyes.

“Matar-Kadoo ki Dal” is a traditional Indian recipe, with green split peas and pumpkin. Typical Indian masala seasoning, and for special spicy touch, wadis (sundried dal-spice rounds) and peppercorn are added. Perfect for cool weather, but watch out for those intracranial explosions.:)

Acorn Squash and Green Split Peas for Matar Kadoo Ki Dal
Acorn Squash and Green Split Peas for Matar Kadoo Ki Dal

(for two, for two meals)

2 cups green split peas
2 cups pumpkin, peeled and cubed. (I used acorn squash)
½ cup wadis (available at Indan grocery)
1 big red onion, finely chopped, about a cup
1 teaspoon, ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1 teaspoon goda masala powder (or garam masala)
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns- coarsely crushed
Salt and turmeric to taste
For tadka or popu:
2 tablespoons peanut oil,
Pinch each, cumin and mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves

Take green split peas in a vessel. Cover with water and simmer to tender (but not too soft).

While the split peas are cooking, in another big pot, heat peanut oil. Add and pan-fry the wadis to crisp. Remove them to a plate and set aside.

In the same pot, to the heated oil, add and toast cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Next goes the onion and ggc paste. Cook until onions are soft. Add the cubed pumpkin, and saute for about five minutes.

Stir in the cooked green split peas along with the water they simmered in. Also, add the goda masala powder, peppercorns, salt and turmeric. If the dal looks too dry, dilute it with water, about a cup. Mix, cover, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, till the pumpkins reach the softness you desire. (Both pumpkin and green split peas cook to soft in short time.)

Sprinkle the crisp wadis and serve with rice or roti. It tasted great on its own also.

Green Split Peas with Acorn Squash (Matar-Kadoo Ki Dal with Wadis) and A Palate Refresher, Mandarin

From Hindi to English: Matar = Peas, Kadoo = Pumpkin
Recipe adapted from “The Spice Box by Manju Shivraj Singh”

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peas (Split),Pumpkin (Monday November 5, 2007 at 7:38 pm- permalink)
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Dazzling Dals: Split Pea~Spinach Stew

Split peas have always been one of those pantry staples that I forget, until the cravings hit me. Yes, I crave spicy split pea stews. Like toor dal, they have a pleasant, addictive taste and when cooked with vegetables plus chilli powder, they make a quick and easy main course dal dish. Rice, or chapati are not needed and the stew can be filling by itself. Good meal for days, when I would like to cut back on calories and still feel satisfyingly stuffed.

Green Split Peas, Spinach and Tomato
Green Split Peas, Spinach and Tomato


1 tablespoon of peanut oil
4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1 onion – finely chopped
3 big, ripe tomatoes – finely chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach – chopped
1 cup green split peas (green matar dal)
(soaked in warm water at least for 15 minutes beforehand to speed up the cooking)
1 tsp each or to taste – salt, chilli powder, turmeric & powdered cumin
4 cups of water

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and onions. Saute to pale-brown. Add tomatoes next, and cook covered on high heat for about 5 minutes. Open the lid, and press with the back of spatula vigorously to mush the contents. To this, add spinach and saute, till leaves wilt.

Add green split peas, plus the seasoning – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and cumin. Add water and mix thoroughly. Have a taste and adjust salt, chilli powder to your liking. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the split peas reach fall-apart stage. (Split peas cook easily on stove-top, do not need pressure-cooking.)

Serve warm.

Split Pea - Spinach Stew
Spicy Stew of Split Peas and Spinach

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peas (Split),Spinach (Friday January 19, 2007 at 8:16 pm- permalink)
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Afghan Inspired Okra and Split Pea Stew

I rarely watch Telugu and Hindi movies these days. Back in my teens and twenties, I was quite a moviegoer. Minimum 4 to 6 movies per month, yes that big of a fan. Not anymore. Once enjoyable dramas have now became too much to bear and boring. I get my dramas from current events these days. But I do remember few movies from yesteryears. One such film is Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi‘s “Khuda Gawa” (God is My Witness) (1992). The movie was shot in then somewhat peaceful Afghanistan. The mountains, the pass – the landscape was breathtakingly captured in that movie and made a memorable impression on my mind.

Recently when I was asked to try out a meatless Afghan recipe from an Afghanistan cookbook by a friend, I immediately replied ‘yes’. Split peas and whole baby okras (leta bendakayalu) cooked to tender in tomato – dill sauce. I tried this recipe two months ago for the photo shoot for NPR. Few additions to taste; now, it’s a regular preparation at my kitchen. Like our sambhar and moong dal aamti, this tasty stew can make a decent meal by itself. This also can be eaten with rice or naan.


3 cups of split peas soaked in hot water for about one hour
12 to 15 tender baby okra of small finger length – ends removed
6 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 red onion or 2 shallots, finely sliced
¼ cup of fresh dill (acquired taste, optional and avoid if you don’t like dill)
1 tsp each -salt, chilli powder, turmeric and dhania (coriander) powder
1 tsp of oil

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add and cook onions and tomatoes until they soften. Mush them by pressing with a back of big spoon. To this sauce, add okra, dill, split peas, all the seasoning and two cups of water. Cover and simmer the whole thing for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Until okra and split peas become tender and the stew reaches the thickness you desire. Serve warm.

Pot of Okra and Split Pea Stew
Warming up Winter Days ~ for Rosie’s “Spice is Right” Event

Recipe source and adapted from –
“Afghan Food & Cookery: Noshe Djan” by Helen Saberi and from NPR’s Kitchen Window – “Discovering Afghan Cuisine, a World Away” by Vijaysree Venkatraman

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Benda Kaaya(Okra),Peas (Split) (Thursday December 7, 2006 at 9:32 pm- permalink)
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