My wonderful husband asked me to find a way to make yellow split-peas tasty so we could have them every day. My most immediate thought was to make them like good old salmon rissoles. A fried patty with some potato filler, herbs that is good warm or cold, can be put into a lunch box and provides all the good of split-peas but is also super tasty.
Yellow split-peas are a super food. Super high in protein and fiber. They also contain iron and foliate. We have been having them previously in a tomato based style stew, but it was a bit bland and hard to eat. Definitely not something we wanted to eat daily. Making these patties high in protein was my goal. So as well as the split peas they also contain cottage cheese and eggs.
Yellow split peas are a great dried legume to have in your cupboard. For starters they are cheap, also they last forever and can just be in your cupboard. They are also a legume you do not have to soak overnight like beans or chickpeas. You can cook them dried. And they only take about an hr or less. So in my mind they are a low effort high value source of goodness. So to cook them you need to place them in a large pan and really cover them with water. You want 4 times the amount of water to peas. You also do not want to add any salt or flavourings to the peas while cooking. Like all legumes, when cooked with salt they remain al-dente with hard cores in the center. So don’t do it. Go pure with water. I kill two birds by adding garlic to boil and soften with it, that is then later used in the patty. This is 2 cups of raw split peas and half a head of garlic cloves.
This needs to boil until majority of the peas are soft and squishy. I like some to be a bit harder as they keep their shape in the end result. Bring your pot to a boil, then turn it right down to a simmer. It needs to simmer for a while. You also need to stir occasionally, to stop any peas from sticking to the bottom and burning. I also like to skim the top of the water and remove the white foam that builds. This is the stuff that produces gas in people. It is not a part you want in excess in your patties. Also always throw out the cooking liquid, it also has much of that property from the peas. When the peas have reached the right consistency, drain them in a colander to cool and drain.
Take your 4 large potatoes and cut them into small squares. I usually leave the skin on to provide texture and added goodness, but in this case the potatoes I got were pretty bruised and needed to be peeled. Boil them in a pot of water and add a couple of teaspoons of ‘chicken’ style stock powder. Massel makes a really good chicken and beef style stock powder. This adds some extra flavour to the potatoes. Also most stock powders contain a fair amount of salt, so no need to add any to the water. When the potatoes are soft, drain and lightly mash them with a fork. Now we need some herbs. I use a bunch of chives and a bunch of parsley. Take your chives and slice them into small pieces. Remove all the parsley leaves from the parsley stalks and cut them roughly to the size you most prefer. Add the chopped herbs to a large mixing bowl. Take 500g of cottage cheese and add this to the bowl also.
By now your split peas have cooled down. Pick out the garlic cloves and mash them with a fork. Add them to the bowl. Grab two corn cobs, and remove the kernel from the core with a knife. Yeah you could use a can of drained corn instead of fresh, but I like the crunch and sweetness the fresh stuff provides as it only mostly cooks in the patty. Add 3 eggs, 200g of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, the potatoes and the split peas to the bowl. Mix well, I use my hands to make sure it is really mixed. It makes a sticky ‘dough’.
Take 1 cup of flour and add it to a bowl, and shake in some cayenne pepper (4-5 shakes will do) and stir to combine. Take some mixture and form it into a ball in your hands. It becomes a hand size ball for me, but I have small hands, it would be half a hand sized ball for my hubs. Place the balls into the flour mixture and coat. Repeat for all the mixture. I then lay them on a tray in a few layers if i need (separated by baking paper) and place in the fridge to firm up. This helps in the frying process. When they are good and chilled take them out of the fridge and get out your frying pan and oil. I use a mixture of peanut oil and vegetable oil. The oil needs to go half way up the sides of the patties to keep them from falling apart. It needs to cook the outside edge well. The oil needs to be hot when the patties go in, or they stick to the bottom of the pain and its a bit of a disaster from that moment on. As I sort of crowd the pan, and because each batch of patties is cold the oil fluctuates in temperature so I keep the element on high heat.
When the oil is ready take one of your prepared balls and flatten it gently in your hand to be a patty shape and gently place it in the oil pointing away from you to avoid any splashes. Repeat until your pan is full. When you can see browning on the sides of your patties, gently lift one and see if it has browned. I use two forks to then gently turn it over to brown on the other side. When both sides are browned remove to a tray lined with absorbent paper to soak up any excess oil.
A few things to note. Don’t keep flipping them, while it is a firmish patty, its the outside flour coating that makes it firm, its still pretty squishy inside so they can fall apart while cooking if the coating doesn’t brown properly or gets some holes in it.
When I am done, I let them cool right back to room temperature before placing them in a large plastic container. I use absorbent paper to divide any layers and soak up any moisture. They last 4-5 days in this state. They don’t remain crisp like right after frying, but remain firmish.
We then have them on a bed of salad for lunches. 3 are very good at filling you up without feeling super full or bloated. And with all that protien they keep you full. We use a low fat cottage cheese because we prefer it, but you don’t need to. I would not suggest using a strong flavoured oil to fry them in or the taste will be overwhelming. You could easily use a light olive oil if that is what you prefer/can afford. The herbs could be changed up, if you want different flavours etc. We are very happy with this recipe and it has been perfected over a few months now. I have been making a batch of these each week, and that is our lunch daily now. We are not even close to being sick of them.
I have no idea if they freeze well. Haven’t tried it or needed to. Happy lunching!
2 cups of dried yellow split-peas
7-10 garlic cloves peeled
600g potatoes (roughly 4 large potatoes)
500g cottage cheese
1 bunch of chives
1 bunch of parsley
‘chicken’ style stock cubes or powder
2 corn cobs
salt n pepper
1 cup plain flour
cayenne pepper powder (optional)
oil for frying
Place the split-peas into a medium to large saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and cover with lots of water. The water should be at least 2/3 of the pot as the peas have to simmer in the water for at least 30-40 minutes. You do not want them to dry out or the water to boil away. Do not add any salt or seasonings as mentioned above. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat til it reaches a steady simmer. You have to skim the top of the surface every so often to move the white foam that accumulates. You also need to stir it to make sure none of the peas stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. When majority of the peas are squishy it is ready. Drain the peas and garlic into a colander.
Cut the potatoes into small squares and put into the now empty pan. Add water to cover and add 2 teaspoons or 2 stock cubes with the ‘chicken’ style stock powder. This should contain salt so you should not need to add any extra salt. Boil until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and lightly mash with a fork.
Pick out the garlic from the split peas and mash with a fork.
Slice the chives into small pieces, and roughly chop up the parsley leaves. Add them to a large bowl. Add the cottage cheese, split-peas, potatoes, breadcrumbs, eggs into the large bowl. Cut the corn kernels from the corn cobs and add them to the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Use your hands to really make sure it is combined.
Place flour and a few shakes of cayenne pepper into a bowl and mix well. Roll the split-pea mixture into balls and roll into the flour mixture. Put these on a tray and place in the fridge for 20 minutes until they are cool and firmer.
When ready put oil into a frying pan. It needs to be deep enough to cover the patties half way up the sides. Heat the oil. Take patties out of the fridge, and flatten them with your hands, fry as many as you can in your pan without over crowding. If the oil is hot enough they should not stick to the bottom of the pan. When they are brown on the sides, flip them using two forks. Be careful to not splash any of the oil. Fry on the other side until brown and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Do this process until all patties are cooked.
You can eat them warm, or as we do allow them to cool and place into a container and store in the fridge. This amount of mixture makes approximately 25-30 patties. They last in the fridge for 3-4 days.