Well, hello there. Welcome to Umami Girl’s new digs! I’ve been hard at work giving this space a renovation for spring, which explains both the new look and the sparseness of actual content these past few weeks. You know when you move into a new home and it suddenly feels sort of normal to live with the echos of footsteps and voices bouncing off bare walls and floorboards? How, sure, you haven’t unpacked the dishes or screwed the legs back on the dining room table, so you might as well enjoy your dinner of Chinese takeout and cold bottled beer while sitting cross-legged on the floor? That’s how it’s felt around here for a couple of weeks now. We’ve still got some art to hang and some furniture to slide around, but we’re settling in nicely. I would love to hear your thoughts on the new design, both positive and constructive, in the comments.
To complement the new look, there will be lots of new, exciting content coming your way. In May we’ll be releasing a free Getting Started Guide for anyone and everyone who wants to incorporate more plant-based meals into their life but could use a little guidance getting started. I’m tickled by the number of you who have already signed up to receive a copy when it’s released (and I’m not even all that ticklish). If you’d like to join the list, you can preregister right here to have your free copy delivered to your inbox.
Also coming soon: a just-for-fun series of very short podcasts called First-World Rants, because big talk about small problems makes people happy, and happiness is at least as good for you as eating your veggies.
Finally, I’ve decided to introduce a weekly e-mail newsletter so you can catch up on all the happenings from the week in one place. The newsletter will replace the automatic emails many of you have been receiving in the past when I’ve published new posts. (Current subscribers, I hope you’ll be okay or even pleased with that change.) A newsletter format allows for more fun and creativity and will also prevent you from getting a ridiculous number of weekly emails as we roll out more frequent content over time.
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In addition to the reno, I have finally managed to eke out a new recipe for you. This savory and satisfying split pea daal was inspired by a recipe that caught my eye a couple of months ago on one of my old-favorite blogs, Kalyn’s Kitchen. We’ve been crazy-obsessed with split peas and lentils this winter, and I say that with barely a note of hyperbole. At least once a week, including at this very moment, I’ve got a pot of Layla’s soup on the stove. And at least once a week I’ve been simmering a ginger, garlic, lemon, and spice-infused pot of yellow split peas. I’ve been riffing and riffing, and I think I can finally call this version my own, as much as a recipe can ever really be. I’ve added lots of aromatic and health-promoting spices like cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and paprika. Though this dish doesn’t claim any particular ethnic roots, I do believe it’s from Delicioustan. (Oh my dear lord, what the hell is wrong with me?)
We like to make this dish the centerpiece of a meal with some brown basmati rice and a big salad, but it could just as easily nestle into a larger meal, the way it would in a more traditional Indian dinner.
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And finally, it’s time to announce the five winners of Monica Bhide‘s In Conversation with Exceptional Women. As always, your thoughtful comments inspired the bejeezus out of me. Where do you people come from? And the winners arrrrreeee:
- Jill, commenter #4
- Erica, commenter #6
- Kankana, commenter #9
- Luana, commenter #11
- Anja, commenter #15
Congratulations, all. Check your inboxes in the next day or two for an email from Amazon with a download link.
Recipe: Spiced Split Pea Daal with Lemon and Ginger
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- One 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 500 g (2 3/4 cups) yellow split peas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a heavy 5-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, for 90 seconds.
- Add the split peas and the salt and pepper along with 5 cups water, and give it all a good stir. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until split peas are very tender and have lost their defined shape, about an hour.
- Stir in lemon juice and zest and cilantro. Serve as a main dish with rice and leafy greens or as an accompaniment to a larger meal (à la Indian daal).
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6