Bengali Split Pea Curry with Caramelized Shallots

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    Making a curry from scratch can seem a daunting task, but this is a recipe easy enough to make on a Friday night without causing any stress! It’s also a really healthy option, too, as it’s full of protein from the split peas and packed with nutrients from the broccoli.
    Bengali Split Pea Curry with Caramelized Shallots

    • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
    • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
    • 200g yellow split peas
    • 200g broccoli, sliced into 3cm pieces
    • Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
    • Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt
    For the spice mix
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp fennel seeds
    • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
    • 2 tsp mustard seeds
    • 2 tsp nigella seeds
    • 1-2tsp dried chili flakes, to taste
    For the caramelized shallots
    • 300g shallots, peeled and cut into thin slices
    • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

    How to make Bengali Split Pea Curry with Caramelized Shallots
    1. Make the spice mix by dry frying the all the spices together for a minute or so. As soon as you smell their aroma wafting up strongly from the pan tip them into a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. Set aside.
    2. Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor until smooth, adding a tablespoon or so of cold water to help this process along if necessary. 
    3. Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger puree until soft and translucent. This should take around 10 minutes.
    4. Add the ground spices and fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the split peas. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the peas by about 3cm and bring up to a simmer. 
    5. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes stirring from time to time. You may need to add a little more water towards the end if it is looking a little dry.
    6. Whilst the curry is cooking, caramelize the shallots by stir frying with the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium high heat. Cook until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
    7. Stir the broccoli through the curry and continue to cook for around 5-8 minutes or until it is tender but with a little bite. 
    8. Serve the curry topped with the caramelized shallots and sprinkled with the coriander. 
    9. Great served with plain rice or naan bread

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