Lentils with spinach. Delicious, tangy and earthy flavors combine to make a lip-smacking and healthy dish. This is one of my favorite ways to incorporate spinach in my diet. Its easy to make, the ingredients are always accessible and just SO GOOD!
Funny story: Growing up there were only 5 lentil dishes that I would eat. This was one of them. I’m not embarrassed to admit that in a world where people say that Daal chawal (Lentils and rice) is their comfort food, I’m an unapologetic meat lover. Give me Daal chawal but with a side of meat! Just Daal chawal is boring for me. My mother would always fry shami kababs or make a chicken salan just for me because she knew I would go hungry and not eat. Yes, I was spoilt! 😉
Given this background you can understand how good this lentils dish must be to make me want to eat it all alone without any meat. It is glorious!
I hope you give this a try and enjoy!
Daal Palak – Saucy lentils with Spinach
- 3/4 cup Yellow split gram lentils (Yellow moong daal)
- Garlic paste 1 tsp
- Red chili powder 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
- Spinach 2 cups chopped
- Tomatoes 2 medium chopped
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro 2 tbsp chopped
- Green chillies 1 chopped
- 2 dry red round chillies
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1 tbsp of whole cumin seeds
- Oil/ghee 4 tbsp
Wash and soak the yellow lentils in warm water for atleast 30 minutes to an hour. In a deep pot, add the lentils and cover them with water. Boil on high heat till a white foam accumulates at the top. Using a slotted spoon, skim the foam and discard it. Now make sure the water level is atleast 2 inches over the lentils. If not then add more warm water. Lower the heat and add garlic paste, red chili powder, and turmeric. Cover the pot slightly, not completely, and cook on very low heat for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, check the water level and add additional warm water if the water level is too low. Add in salt to taste, chopped spinach and tomatoes. Mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes. The tomatoes will be mushy at the end. If they are not, you can use an immersion blender and slightly blend the spinach and lentils together. Don’t overdo it as the whole dish will turn green. Add in cilantro and green chillies. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare for tempering the lentils. In a small frying pan add the oil or ghee. Let it simmer on medium heat. Add in dried red chillies, curry leaves and cumin. Let this fry for 1 minute. Add this oil mixture in the lentils. Mix slightly and serve as a soup or with rice.