I was looking for an easy winter lunch recently: something simple to make, filling, nutritious and light on our budget (maternity medical bills are putting a bit of a dent in the pocket book this year).
So, I boiled up some split peas (we almost always have pulses soaking – beans for soup, chickpeas for hummus, and so on), and paired them with shredded sweet potato and red onion for Sweet Potato Latkes. We paired them with sour cream and some cured salmon for an easy lunch.
Split Peas Make an Easy Substitute for Flour
Split peas, like many pulses, make an easy substitute for flour in many dishes. Their rich starchiness, resistant starch and moisture help to bind ingredients together just like a combination of egg and flour might. They work particularly well as a binding agent in this latke recipe, where the split peas’ natural earthiness pairs beautifully with the sweetness of sweet potato spiked by a whiff of chile.
Sweet Potato and Yellow Split Pea Latkes with Cilantro Cream
For the Latkes
- 2/3 cup dry yellow split peas
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoons mild chile powder
- Coconut oil for frying
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Add the split peas to a medium saucepan and add warm water to cover by about an inch, stir in the baking soda, and then soak the split peas for at least 4 and up to 8 hours. Drain them and rinse them well. Dump them into a medium pot, cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- While the split peas cook, peel the sweet potato and the red onion, and then grate them both finely. Set them into a fine-mesh strainer,(like this one), and sprinkle it with salt. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then remove the excess water from the sweet potato by squeezing it gently with your hands.
- Add the sweet potato, split peas, and shallot, to a mixing bowl with the beaten eggs, stirring until just combined. Stir in the chile powder.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and then drop in a spoonful of coconut oil, and allow it to melt. Working in batches, so as not to crowd the pan, drop a 2-tablespoon clump of the sweet potato latke mix into the skillet. Flatten the latke with a pancake turner or metal spatula until it's about 3 inches in diameter, and cook the latkes about 2 minutes on each side, until crisp and browned, adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed. Keep warm in the oven.
- Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro.
Take the Pulse Pledge
2016 is the International Year of pulses, and I’ve been working with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada this year in celebration of these tiny, inexpensive nutritional powerhouses.
You can join me in taking the Pulse Pledge – a commitment to eat pulses like dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas at least once a week for ten weeks. Sign up here for recipes and tips on cooking pulses.