Saturday, 11 August 2012

WW Smoky lime split peas for a small world

Last weekend we finally watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony, a week late.  Sitting on the couch watching the ode to British pastoral, industry and pop music while eating pizza was probably the highlight of the weekend.  The next day Sylvia had a fever and needed the thermometer, medication and cooling smoothies. When she headed to bed unusually early,  I set to work making dinner using an accidentally opened can of creamed corn and some split peas that had been in the pantry far too long.

The creamed corn was destined for cornbread. My challenge was to find a split pea recipe that I could serve with it.  I don't cook with split peas that often.  Just the occasional soup.  I read a post by Janet of the Tastespace on Split pea dal with ginger and lime.  She posed the question: if you could only have 4 spices in your kitchen, what would they be?  Mine would be smoked paprika, cumin, mustard and cinnamon.  So it is perhaps a bit predictable that I went for the smoky lime flavours of Mexico for the split peas. 

As Janet found, the split peas are quite watery but they thicken as they cool.  I found the easiest way to serve them was in a small bowl on the plate.  Alternatively they could be served in a bowl with extra vegies on top.  I enjoyed dredging my cornbread through the split pea stew.  This made me think, it could even be eaten as a dip with vegies and corn chips.  If you are seeking a different sort of snack for watching tv sport.

We haven't been watching much of the London Olympics.  I meant to but either I am unenthused by the Channel 9 coverage or E is watching some old movie like Zontar the Thing from Venus.  So this year I haven't really seen much sport but watching a bit of swimming with Sylvia reminded me of what a small world it is when we are young.

According to Sylvia, the Olympians were swimming at our local pool.  She has also showed me where cartoon characters Gaspard and Lisa live in the next suburb to us, and when she was given playdough by a friend, she said that my mum must have made it and given to it to this friend for Sylvia.  Apparently she thought my mum is the only person in the world to make playdough.

I understand this feeling of the world being so small.  When I was a child, I remember thinking that Daryl Somers (a local television star) and Donna Summer (American disco diva) were related because their surnames sounded the same.  I even thought the kids up the road were our Prime Minister's grandchildren because they shared the same surname.  It probably wasn't so odd, given that anyone who shared a surname in our small town usually was related.  I even remember visiting the cemetery with a friend (as you do) and finding a gravestone with her name on it.  Turned out it was her great-grandmother.

Food these days makes the world seem small too.  On the night I made the split peas, I combined the Mexican flavoured stew and cornbread with some leftover Irish-style fried cabbage and brussels sprouts.  The second night I served the split peas and cornbread with the peas and roast pumpkin of my Aussie childhood. I'm pleased to discover that these split peas, like the Olympians, will readily mingle with other nations.  It is a small world after all!

I am sending these smoky lime split peas to Ricki for her Wellness Weekends event.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Besan Vegetable Frittata and a week of eats
Two years ago: Rhubarb crumble x 2
Three years ago: Walnut Brownies
Four years ago: WTSIM ... Beer Bread
Five years ago: SHF #34: Pumpkin scones

Smoky lime split peas
Adapted from Tastespace and allrecipes
serves about 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 yellow capsicum, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup yellow split peas
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli paste, or to taste
juice of 1 small lime

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Fry the onion, celery, parsnip and capsicum for about 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are softening at the edges.  (I add vegies in that order as I chop them.)  Add garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and allspice.  Stir for about 1 minute and then add in split peas, water, salt and chilli paste.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour or until split peas are cooked but not mushy.  Stir in lime juice and serve.

On the stereo:
The Best of Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield


  1. aw, i'm sorry that Sylvia had a fever! no fun at all:( the smokey lime split peas look lovely! As do those brussel's sprouts! I'm glad you enjoyed the opening ceramony!

    1. thanks GF happy tummy - no fevers aren't fun but the dinner was delish!

  2. My Dad and I are still disappointed that there was no Dr Who in the Opening Ceremony! But maybe the Closing, who knows :P

    Sorry to hear Sylvia has been unwell - give her a hug from me. And what, no lavender salt in your four spices? :P

    1. Dr Who would have been great - maybe they just couldn't decide which Dr Who to include :-)

      I considered french lavender salt in my 4 top spices but wasn't sure if I could consider it a spice or if it is just a salt - well spotted!

  3. These split peas look lovely and I imagine provided a nice lift to what was an otherwise challenging weekend - I hope Sylvia is feeling better soon.

    1. Thanks Kari - a win in a kitchen is quite welcome lately when it hasn't all been quite as I hoped - sylvia is doing better but still doesn't seem 100%

  4. I love split peas, and I'm really liking them in this incarnation - definitely one for me to try.

    You're right - food, and especially the blogosphere, does make the world feel smaller.

    Sue :-)

    1. Thanks Sue - I was pleased to find another way to eat split peas because I don't eat them enough - hope you enjoy these

  5. Loving this way to eat split peas! Thanks for sharing :) My name is Cindy and I blog over at I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we'd love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! You can find this week's link up here:
    Thanks, Cindy

    1. Thanks Cindy - looks like an interesting event - will try and come along some time

  6. Hope Sylvia is better! I meant to comment on these when you submitted them--they sound delicious to me (and very much like dal).

    1. Thanks Ricki - yes sylvia is much better - it is sort of like a mexican dal if you don't mind a bit of fusion cooking

  7. I love split-pea stews. I made something like this one time but using liquid smoke. Can you get that there? It's a great addition to our kitchen, we use it quite a lot.

    And what about The Games?! Did it make you miss the UK? Living in London, I have to say I'm rather pleased it's over to be honest. with you.


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