Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Pea Cakes:

  2. 1 cup dried green split peas (about 1/2 pound)

  3. 1 small onion, coarsely chopped

  4. 1 small mild fresh green chile, such as Anaheim, seeded and coarsely chopped

  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  6. 3/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying

  7. Gingered Spinach:

  8. 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

  9. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  10. 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

  11. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  12. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (available at specialty stores and Indian markets)

  13. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  14. 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

  15. 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  16. 1 to 2 medium jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

  17. 1 pound fresh spinach, tough stems trimmed

  18. 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

  19. 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

  20. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  21. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  22. Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Make the pea cakes:

  2. In a large bowl, cover the dried green split peas with 4 cups of water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse the split peas and transfer them to a food processor . Add the onion, fresh green chiles , fresh ginger , salt, and 1/4 cup of water, and process until pureed.

  3. Make the gingered spinach:

  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the turmeric and the garam masala and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sliced onion and the chopped fresh ginger and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sliced garlic and jalapeno and continue cooking until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.

  5. Add the fresh spinach to the pan in large handfuls, stirring until the leaves are wilted before adding another handful. Cook, stirring, until the exuded liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted, then add the chopped tomatoes . Lower the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and keep warm.

  6. To finish the pea cakes, heat the 3/4 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet. For each cake, drop 2 tablespoons of the split pea mixture into the skillet, pressing down on them lightly to make 3-inch rounds. Fry the cakes over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn the cakes and brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain and keep warm while you fry the remaining cakes.

  7. Arrange the green pea cakes on 4 large plates and spoon the gingered spinach alongside. Garnish the dish with the fresh cilantro leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

  8. Yield: 4 servings Recipe Source: Best of Food & Wine 1995 (American Express Publishing Corp)

  9. Reprinted with permission.


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