Q: What are Pigeon Peas?
From the Great Sage of cooking, Madhur Jaffrey: “Once thought to be of African origin and now traced to possible roots in southwestern India, these round, dull yellow peas with their earthy dark flavor are used in the Caribbean in their whole form and through India in their hulled and split forms.” Northern Indians call it arhar dal, Southerners call it toovar dal, but they are interchangeable.
I find the whole pigeon peas in the Latino section of local groceries, and the split variety in the Indian section, or those wonderful Indian supermarkets up on Central Ave & 18th in NE Mpls.
Dishes of the Week April 19 – 25th
1) Pigeon PEAS & Roasted Eggplant in Tamarind Sauce. Savory and mild Indian-type dish. A complete vegetarian meal with rice, bread or Spelt Salad below, salad & raita. Sweet & sour tamarind also complements grilled chicken and pork nicely.
2) Curried Spelt Salad with Sugar Snap PEAS, Celery and Fresh Chives. Spelt is an ancient and nutritious grain (ie not hybridized to death) related to wheat and does contain low amounts of gluten. Sorry, these snap peas will not be local — another month, perhaps?!
Dishes of the Week April 26 – May 2:
1) Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Tomatoes. From Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”. Per her recipe, it includes a bit of grated Parmesan. Please notify well in advance if you do NOT want cheese.
2) Garlicky Swiss Chard and Spinach Saute. Classic, go-with-everything, pan-cuisine greens. For veg protein, I often add a can of white beans. Get your greens on!
My Favorite Things ala Oprah
- New ceramic-bladed slicer and peeler (thanks Dad). Stays super sharp forever, as is. Can’t put pressure on the slicer sideways, since ceramic is brittle, but, MY GOSH it cuts veg & meats like butter. Cannot chop with it, however.
- Korean red pepper paste. Can’t live without it.
- Hot Coconut Quinoa pudding. Super easy, high protein (grain + dairy/soy) breakfast.