Full of protein from the chana dal (split chickpeas) and a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato, this creamy chowder is hearty and delicious!
Rinse Chana dal and remove any pebbles or unsightly peas. In a large pot, soak the dal in about 4 cups of room temperature water for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or hot water for 1 hour. Drain water. If using yellow split peas, skip this step.
In a large dutch oven or pot, place soaked Chana dal, sweet potato and bay leaves, cover with about 4 – 5 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until dal and sweet potatoes are tender.
Place cooked peas and potatoes in a colander, rinse gently and quickly with warm water, set aside. Leave bay leaves with the mix. Don’t worry about getting every pea out of the pot.
In same pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add bell peppers, jalapeno, onion and thyme, saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove sauteed vegetables to the colander with the chana dal and potatoes, set aside. Don’t worry about getting every vegetable out of the pot.
In same pot, over medium – low heat, add flour and 1/3 cup of milk, whisk well until it thickens and lumps are barely visible, stirring continuously, slowly add in the remaining amount of liquids, stirring continuously, continue to heat over medium-low, lumps with dissolve completely as the liquid warms up. Careful to not boil or milk will begin to curdle. Continue to stir and heat until liquids begin to thicken about 7 – 10 minutes.
Add in the Chana dal and vegetable mixture, heat over low until everything has warmed, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed, remove bay leaves and discard.
Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers and a sprinkle of parsley over top.
You may consider using 3 1/2 cups milk w/ 1 veggie bouillon cube. Just be sure you have 3 1/2 cups liquids.
Edit: I’ve added in soaking the dal first for quicker cooking time. This will ensure that your dal is perfectly tender.