Swedish Summers have a lot of similarity to British ones in that it can be boiling hot one day and then cold enough the following to be digging out your 60 denier tights out of the sock drawer.
With that kind of weather in mind a dish I often resort to is dal. Comforting, warming and gives you all round feel good factor. It’s really hard to beat a bowl of it. This one uses Swedish yellow peas which are similar size and shape as a chickpea (it’s what a split yellow pea looks like before it’s split). An ingredient which is commonly used for the classic Swedish dish, yellow pea soup served with a healthy dollop of sweet spicy Swedish mustard on top (I have a recipe for that in The Little Swedish Kitchen cookbook). In my true waste-not-want spirit I threw a rather sad looking bag of spinach in at the end.
This recipe is more about convenience than recreating an authentic dal experience with the different spices freshly toasted and ground. So my apologies to those who go to the lengths of making a spice blend by scratch.
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes
4 tbsps vegetable oil
1 brown onion, peeled
1–2 tbsp curry powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
250g pre cooked yellow peas (or you could use tinned chickpeas)
1 litre hot vegetable stock
1 tsp sugar
240g spinach, washed and roughly chopped
4-6 heaped tablespoons of plain yoghurt (dairy or plant based)
a handful of coriander leaves (optional)
Thick slices of sourdough or flatbreads
Heat the oil and sweat the onion over a medium to low heat for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the curry powder and toast for 2 minutes.
Followed by the yellow peas, salt, sugar and stock. Stir until the salt and sugar has dissolved.
Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, or until most of the stock has evaporated to make a thick sauce.
Add the spinach and cover for another 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if required.
The dal can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days or alternatively frozen.
Photos: Julia Rajkovic