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Yellow Split Peas with Aubergine

stewed aubergine with peas


Yellow Split Peas & Aubergine Recipe

You could say that this is a take on daal and veg. Or an Indian take on a humble stew served with mash, only our mash is pureed lentils and our stew is made with aubergine in a sticky sour sauce. If you want an exciting twist on a simple mash and veg, try this on for size, or even if you’re bored of the same old daal dish!


Yellow Split Pea Cream served under Tamarind Stewed Aubergine

If we’re being descriptive, this is actually what the dish should be called. But that’s a mouthful and some people may be put off; it does sound pretty wacky, but it is oh so yum. And with the additional toppings, you don’t have to worry about the dish being a one dimensional pile of mush. The yellow split pea cream is thick and decadent yet deceptively simple to make. While the aubergine provides a light tangy note to cut through the richness of the lentils. The garnish, although is optional, try not to skimp out on. We understand coriander isn’t for everyone and you may not have all the ingredients to garnish, but if you can include them, please do. It compliments the dish wonderfully.

We may lie a bit because it isn’t really a stewed aubergine dish either. The sauce and the veg are cooked separately. We love to roast our aubergine in the oven to cook whilst we make our sauce. Not only does the aubergine cook quicker but it is much more simple and you can really focus on building that sauce flavour instead of worrying about the aubergine being cooked enough. You think you’ll be making a quick meal, but somehow the aubergine always wants to not cook. Anyway, cut those babies up correctly, salt them for 10 min, rinse, massage with oil and seasoning then chuck into the oven and they’ll be cooked in 25 min tops. Be careful to not take them too far as we still need them to keep shape when we fold them into the sauce. In essence we’ll say this a “Cheater’s Stew”. Don’t worry, we won’t change the name to include this, a two sentence title to a dish? Now that’s just silly ..


What is tamarind?

Tamarind is derived from a wooden tree, native to Africa but also grows in Asian countries; India, Pakistan and other tropical regions.

The Tamarind tree produces pods filled with seeds, similar to that of beans. As the bean ripens, the inside pods become a sweet sour paste. Tamarind can come in many forms in supermarkets today; whole beans, paste, concentrate. We’ve got tons more information on the different forms of Tamarind, their best uses and benefits on our Tamarind ingredient guide. In this recipe, we can use either Tamarind paste or concentrate. Please use the concentrate with caution, the flavour is so intense that a little too much can completely throw off your sauce.


What if you don’t like tamarind flavour?

So, you may encounter this. Tamarind is a very distinct taste and might not be for everyones taste palettes. It is a unique sweet sour flavour which isn’t a very versatile flavour.


You can try and replicate the dish using lemon as the substitute ingredient, you will most likely need to bring more sweetness into, try starting with 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar and another 1/2 of honey. Slowly build up to a balanced sauce as it continues to reduce and thicken.


How to serve this dish?

This is completely up to you. You can follow how we’ve shown it, where we simply the serve the lentils and aubergine as one cohesive dish together.

2 main dishes This will feed comfortably about 2 portions. You can push to three if you’d like, depends on how hungry you are, although this dish is secretly filling. You don’t realise how many lentils you’ve eaten when they’re all blitzed up!

4 starter dishes Feel free to portion them out smaller into 4 starter meals. This vegetarian starter is a perfect accompaniment to any meaty main.

Individual dishes Why not go completely wild and treat the two components as individual dishes. Scrap the yellow split pea cream and create a delicious aubergine dish that can be served with rice or noodles! This can also be included in a feasting menu, where there are loads of different options to pick from.

Lentil Soup Following on from treating them as individual dishes, why not add a bit more stock to the lentil mixture until it runs thinner resembling a soup consistency. Or substitute the stock for milk, cream or yoghurt for different flavour profiles. Adding milk may give provide a lightness to the soup cutting through the richness whereas, the cream can add to this.

Whatever you decide to do with this dish, whether it’s adapting to create your own sauce, or combing the components with other recipes we’d love to hear about it! Pop a comment below to keep us updated 🙂



Print Recipe
Stewed Aubergine with Yellow Pea Puree
It's so hard to choose the best name for a dish. How do we get it as informative as we can without it becoming jarring? Anyway try this sweet sour tamarind aubergine served with a yellow split pea cream puree. Kind of like mash and veg with a twist!
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
(2 main dishes, 4 side dishes)
Tamarind Aubergine
Yellow Split Pea Cream
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
(2 main dishes, 4 side dishes)
Tamarind Aubergine
Yellow Split Pea Cream
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. So you'll see there's a passive time of an hour. That's because, like most lentils, we need to let them soak first. Check what your packet says but the lentils we use state an hour soak minimum is good.
  3. While the lentils are soaking, we're also gonna be a little bit extra and salt our aubergine. Do this about 15 minutes after the lentils have started to soak. The salting of the aubergine is optional. If you're wondering why we salt our aubergine, we've got a whole informative post on it!
  4. Cut off the top and bottom of your aubergine, then cut vertically down the middle. Once you have your long halves we will cut them horizontally through the middle again. You'll have four quarters in which we'll slice into thick wedges. Place in a large bowl and cover with about 2-3 tablespoons of salt, ensuring the salt is well distributed. If you are not salting you will still need to cut your aubergine the same way once you are ready to cook it.
Cook the Aubergine
  1. Once the aubergine has been salting for about 10-15 minutes, we'll rinse them off. Please, please fully scrub off all the salt, otherwise the salt will transfer into our sauce and become too salty. If you haven't salted your aubergine, cut up or grab your cut aubergine wedges now.
  2. Place the aubergine onto a large tray lined with baking paper. Pour two tablespoons of oil and massage into the chopped aubergine. You don't need to add any salt if you have salted your aubergine. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes or until aubergine is tender but still holds form.
Cook the lentils
  1. So by the time the aubergine is in the oven, the lentils should nearly be done soaking. Start getting all ingredients needed to cook the lentils out. Peel the garlic cloves and prepare your liquid stock if using a powder form.
  2. Put the soaked lentils, garlic, turmeric and salt into a saucepan. Cover with the liquid stock and bring to boil, then reduce the heat so that it is on simmer, cover with a lid and leave to cook for about 35-40 minutes. Or until liquid has been absorbed.
Make the sauce
  1. Start by peeling and chopping up your onion. Get the peeled garlic cloves and peeled ginger ready to pound in a mortar and pestle. Alternatively mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
  2. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil into a pan or wok. Once the oil is heated, add in the chopped onion and gently let them cook until translucent - about 5-10 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant - about 2-3 minutes. If using fresh chilli, add this is with the ginger and garlic.
  3. Add in about 2 tablespoons of honey and cook for a few minutes until mixture becomes sticky - 3-4 minutes.
  4. If you're using Tamarind pulp, dilute the paste with about 80ml of hot water and pour into the pan with the sauce. If you're using Tamarind concentrate skip to the next step.
  5. If you're using Tamarind concentrate, we may need to add a little more water as the flavour is a lot more intense. Start by adding 1 teaspoon of concentrate and then 50ml of water. We may need to add more later but we'll play it by ear.
  6. Once you've added the Tamarind and you're happy with the flavour (you may have added in another teaspoon), add in 1 tablespoon each of soy and fish sauce allow to simmer until it reduces to become a thick sticky mixture - 5-10 minutes dependant on how much water is added.
  7. Now it's time to taste test. Try your sauce, how is the balance of it? Here is where your tastebuds come into play. Slowly add in the extra measurements of honey, soy, fish sauce in portions until you reach a balance you're happy with. If you don't want to add any more honey, this is where you can include to add sugar instead. Choose between palm sugar, brown sugar or white sugar, choice is yours. Again start by adding half a tablespoon and build upon that. You should not reach more than an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar. There should be a max of 2 tablespoons of fish and soy sauce that have gone into this sauce.
  8. Once the desired consistency of a thick caramel texture has been reached. Take off the heat and squeeze in the juice of one lime (bit by bit - continue tasting) and stir.
  1. Once your sauce is complete or nearing it's finish, start to keep an eye out on your aubergine. If all goes well, the sauce should finish up around the time the aubergine is done cooking. Take out of the oven if you're happy with the cooking of your purple vegetable, place aside.
  2. Check on your lentils. Hopefully at this point, the lentils will be fully cooked with the liquid having almost been absorbed.
  3. Take your cooked lentil mixture and place into a food processor, hand processor, or blender of choice. Add the extra virgin olive oil and blend into a smooth puree. If the puree needs a little encouragement to come together, add a little bit of water as needed.
  4. Once smooth, distribute your puree onto the plates.
  5. Bring the pan with our tamarind sauce back onto heat and allow to remain on a gentle simmer.
  6. Grab the aubergine from the baking tray and add to the pan with the sauce that is now reheating. Gently fold the aubergine into the sauce so that it is fully coated without breaking the wedges.
  7. Once you're happy with the aubergine stew, remove from heat and layer on top of the whipped yellow peas.
  8. Garnish with sliced spring onions, sprigs of coriander and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!!

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