Using a box grater for the carrots, garlic and ginger works beautifully. And you can throw it in the dishwasher when you’re done. This is good on its own or next to just about anything from grilled fish to roast chicken. I bet it would be good with shrimp sauteéd with garlic and cilantro spooned over the top.
Makes 2 servings, can be easily doubled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium carrot
1 clove garlic
1-inch length peeled fresh ginger
½ cup yellow split peas
1 ¼ cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water (or as needed)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
A handful of green beans (about 12 medium), ends trimmed and cut on the bias into ¼-inch lengths (generous ½ cup)
Heat the oil in a small (1 ½ to 2-quart) saucepan over medium heat. While the oil is heating, grate the carrot on the coarser side of the grater right into the pan. Give the carrot a good stir, then grate the garlic and ginger into the pan using the finer side of the grater. Stir until the carrot is wilted and the garlic and ginger are fragrant.
Stir in the split peas. Pour into enough broth or water to barely cover the peas by ½ inch and add the cumin and salt to taste. Bring to a boil then adjust the heat to simmering. Cover the pan and cook 20 minutes. The peas should still be a little underdone.
Stir in the green beans and while you’re doing so, check the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan—there should be about ½ inch or so. If there is a little more or less, no worries. If the bottom of the pan is dry add a little water, if there is too much liquid, we’ll take care of it later. Cook, uncovered, until the peas and beans are tender and almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. If there is too much liquid in the bottom of the pan, use a slotted spoon to serve the peas, or just leave them soupy. Worse things have happened. Serve hot.
Note: To turn this or leftovers into a (sort-of) Indian dahl, add about ¾ cup stock or water when the peas are tender and cook for another 5 minutes until the peas are very soft. Add a little ground coriander, cardamom and/or chili pepper and whisk to smooth out the puree.