Jamaican Curried Split Peas

I was inspired to pick up some Jamaican curry powder after visiting Ninth Square Market Too Caribbean Style restaurant and eating delicious curried chick peas (stay tuned for that post). For this recipe, I used Blue Mountain Country curry powder that features turmeric as the first ingredient, and while flavorful, isn't spicy at all. If you want to make it spicy, you can add hot peppers to your hearts desire.

While there were whole chickpeas in my dish at the restaurant, I really love dals from Indian restaurants that have been simmered so long that the consistency is almost soup-like. I think I achieved that creaminess here. Enjoy!

Jamaican Curried Split Peas
¾ lb dry split yellow split peas (I used Goya)
2 1/2 Tbsp Jamaican curry
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cube not-chick'n broth + water (you could also use veggie stock)
½ medium onion (diced)
5-6 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 carrots (peeled, diced)
1 large tomato or 6 cherry tomatoes (chopped)
½ piece ginger (peeled, left whole)
1 Tbsp tomato paste

1. Prepare lentils according to package: add hot water and let come to a boil,  boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, put on lid, add bay leaf, and let sit for an hour. Drain and set aside.
2. In a saucepan add 1-2 tsp oil of your choice. Add carrots. Cook 2-3 minutes.
3.       Add onions. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring.
4.       Add piece of ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
5.       Add fresh tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes, stirring.
6.       Add dry spices: cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and Jamaican curry. Stir and cook 1 minute. Be careful not to let spices burn.
7.       Add lentils, broth cube, tomato paste, fresh bay leaf, and enough water to cover by about 1 cm. Bring to a boil and immediately turn heat to lowest setting, cover, and simmer for an hour and a half or more. Stir every once and a while, and check if you need to add more water.
8. Serve with fresh rice and a lime wedge.