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For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been preparing Ayurvedic postpartum meals for a client of mine. Part of the idea behind Ayurvedic cooking for new moms is  that we want to promote quick healing and support healthy digestion for mother and baby. Encouraged foods are warming soups and stews that focus on sweet, sour and salty tastes, with a healthy dose of fat. I put together a delicious green pea dal with ginger, garlic and spices and tied it to together with a sweet and soothing coconut rice. This is a hearty and comforting dish that is sure to warm you from the inside out. Enjoy…

Green Pea Dal:

1 C dried green split peas
3 C water
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 C coconut milk
sesame oil
sea salt

Rinse split peas thoroughly, picking out any discolored peas. In a large pot, combine water, peas, 1/2 of the diced onion and a generous pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn down heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, until peas have absorbed most of the water and are tender.

When peas are almost cooked, heat a skillet on medium and add a couple of tablespoons to sesame oil and add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, coating in oil. Heat seeds until they start to pop and become fragrant. Add onion, garam masala and cayenne (if using), coat with oil and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, being careful not to burn. Cook for another minute or two.

Add onion mixture to split peas and cook together for a couple of minutes to let flavors meld. Add coconut milk and warm through.

Adjust salt as necessary. Serve over coconut rice with a wedge of lemon.

Coconut Rice

1 C white jasmine rice
1 C coconut milk
3/4 C water
1 tsp. sesame oil or vegan butter
2Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
Generous pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Once rice is done, turn heat off, but leave pot covered to finish cooking for another 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and adjust salt if necessary.

Split Pea Dal with Coconut Rice