A hearty gravy made from split peas and tomato sauce. Seasoned with curry and thyme. The mystery ingredient, instant coffee. Served over curry-spiced mashed potatoes!

Makes 9 cups gravy

2 c. dried split peas, washed and drained

10 c. water

16 oz. can tomato sauce

1 T. sugar

1 T. mild curry powder

1 t. instant coffee

1 t. dried thyme

2 t. salt

¼ t. black pepper

sev. dashes red cayenne pepper

8 med. russet potatoes, peeled, rinsed and cut into ¾ inch cubes

¾ c. reserved potato water

4 T. margarine

1-1/2 t. mild curry powder

salt and black pepper to taste

In large pot combine dried peas, water and tomato sauce; stir well.

Add sugar, curry, coffee, thyme, salt, black and red pepper. Stir well again, then bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

When 1 hour is up, remove cover, stir well and cook, uncovered for 1 hour longer, stirring often so that the peas don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

When second hour is up, force gravy through a sieve or colander. Return to clean pot, salt and pepper to taste. Reheat when ready to serve.

Before the gravy is done make the mashed potatoes. Put potatoes in salted water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil, then cook at a slow boil till very tender, 20-30 minutes.

Before draining potatoes, scoop out about ¾ cup potato water and reserve. Now drain the potatoes and return to empty pot. Using a potato masher, mash till lump-free.

Add margarine and curry and mash till melted, then keep mashing till smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

If potatoes are too thick, add a little hot potato water, stirring until you achieve the desired consistency that you want.

To serve: Place a large scoop of mashed potatoes in individual serving bowls, make a well in the center, then spoon gravy over.

Notes: I usually serve this dish alone—because I like to savor just that. If you want a more complete meal, then serve with a side vegetable and salad.

In order for the gravy to turn brown as it does, it must be cooked a total of two hours. During the first hour it remains green, but during the second hour it turns brown.

Be sure to force all the gravy through the sieve or colander.

You won’t taste the coffee as coffee, yet it imparts a richness when combined with the other ingredients.

This gravy should impress you.

If you want a creamier gravy, place two cups at a time in blender container and blend till smooth.


Published by Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, artist, writer/author, animal-free chef, activist

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