This healthy, yet delicious bharta — which is Indian for mash — is made with split peas, fresh spinach, garlic, jalapeño and spices. This versatile dish can be served as a side dish, used as a sauce or it can be spread on bread or crackers.
To start the peas, first rinse them well. Then strain, and place into a pot, along with the water and cover. Let soak for 2 hours. Note: You don’t have to soak the peas; however, it does reduce the cooking time and it also adds to the overall texture of the final dish.
Next, bring the peas and water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 30 to 50 minutes, or until the peas are tender and fully cooked through.
Once the peas are fully cooked season to taste with salt. Depending on how much water was used, you may need to drain off any excess water.
Let cool for 30 minutes while you gather and prepare the remaining ingredients.
To prepare the dish, heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and dry-sauté for 10 minutes, or until translucent and golden.
Next add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. Then add the jalapeño, spinach and salt. Stir to combine the ingredients and let cook for about a minute, or until the spinach wilts. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Once the spinach and split peas are cool, purée them separately in a food processor. Purée the split peas until you reach a smooth consistency. For the spinach, pulse a few times, or until roughly puréed and slightly chunky.
To finish, combine the peas and spinach and the sumac and mint. Lastly, taste for seasoning.
This mixture will keep for several days in the refrigerator.