Wednesday, 11 January 2012

it cleanses my soul.

I've done it again.
I bought exactly the same diary as last year and the year before, and another year before that, and then very possibly, another few years going back over a half a decade.
I sat down with a nice big mug of green tea; remember, this is a new year and we also all play this game, in the name of detox.
I am going through my last year's diary. Flipping through each and every pages of last year, I rather love the reminiscent of what has become apparent past. Patiently copying all important birthdays, anniversaries and etc. onto my new diary, I am excited what will unfold. The possibilities of unknown is daunting but the opportunities of possible ability is the force that pushes me to march through with grace and enchantment.

I read through dinner party night guest lists, date nights, some unkept training sessions, holidays, little notes on 'I must' and some endless lists of ideas on new recipes I scribbled on all over and every corner of my last year's diary.
I think a lot of stuff I planned last year was more of a 'wish-list' than a 'to do-list'. More than half a year was dedicated to our dream of making a new home-sweet-home, we hardly stopped to take a breath.
I feel I've neglected my love of food although I religiously worshiped my love of wine. I was so busy demanding Toby of all things DIY, I forgot to tell him what it meant for me to have him so close to me and breath together. Spending most of time stressed about nothing important, I didn't think to sit down and appreciate.

So I am going to do it again.
I'll write all those things down. Like many other years. 
In a hope to better myself, I will follow this rituals of the opening of new year.
Because it cleanses my soul.

Curried Yellow Split Peas
Serves 4

160g yellow split peas, soaked in water over night then rinsed thoroghly
1/2 tsp fenugreek seed
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 whole chilli
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1inch ginger, grated
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp tamarind water
50ml coconut milk
700ml water
1/2 tsp garam masala
little vegetable oil
some salt and pepper

for garnish
1 onion, finely sliced
some vegetable oil
pinch of salt
chopped coriander

This dish is my kind of feel good comfort food.
It is relatively simple to make and the mixture of spices gives lovely depth of flavour to the peas. 
I love the little sour flavour comes from tamarind water which elevates the curry while coconut milk helps to maintain the richness.

First of all, dry roast the spices (fenugreek, mace, fennel and cumin) and ground them in pestle and mortar.
Over a medium heat, add a little oil into your pan and saute the onions until softened and golden in colour. Add garlic, ginger, ground spices, turmeric, cinnamon stick and chopped tomatoes along with some freshly cracked black pepper.
Put the lid back onto the pan and leave them to cook for 5mins. Make sure to stir well occasionally to stop them sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After 5mins or so, add the peas, chilli as whole, pinch of salt and water to the pan. Bring them to boil then simmer for 45mins to 1hour. Stir them occasionally.
Once the yellow split peas are cooked (should be soft with a little bite to it rather than mushy), add tamarind water along with coconut milk.
Finally, dust the garam masala on top of cooked peas, put the lid back on the pan and leave them to rest for at least 30mins to give the dish time to develop the flavour.

You can fry the onions while you wait. 
Simply fry them with little oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat until they are crispy.

Before you serve, make sure to give it a good stir, season to taste and garnish it with crispy onions and some fresh coriander.

Hope you are all in for the brilliant 2012!


  1. Beautiful photography! first time on your blog, i'm going through your recipes. lovely!

    1. Thanks, Delicious Shots. Hope you enjoy the recipes! S x

  2. Gorgeous photo, and the dish sounds heavenly. I'm a sucker for curried anything.