Spinach Dal


  • Red lentils -1 ½ cups
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Coriander – 1 tsp
  • Whole cumin – 2 tsp
  • Lime Juice – 2T
  • Brown mustard seed – 2 tsp
  • Onion (small), diced – 1
  • Garlic cloves, minced – 2
  • Ginger, grated – ½ tsp
  • Spinach (frozen chopped) – ¼ lb
  • Salt, to taste

Garnish: Cilantro, freshly chopped – ½ bunch



  1. Rinse the lentils in the pot in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Lentils have a tendency to clump up and to stick to the pot, so be sure to feel your hands through the lentils to un-clump them during rinsing and to use a flat wooden stirrer to be sure that the lentils don’t stick to the bottom before and during cooking.
  1. Put in water. Water should cover the lentils by about 3 inches. (Remember not to put in too much water to begin with — you may always add more water after cooking if the dal is too thick). Bring to a boil, and skim away surface froth.
  1. Add the turmeric and coriander, and turn to low heat. Stir frequently at first to make sure dal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  1. Sauté the onions, cumin seed, and brown mustard seed in small amount of oil until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for a few more minutes, then pour the onion mixture into the dal. (Instead of sautéing the cumin seed and brown mustard see with the onions, you may also fry the cumin see and brown mustard seed in a small amount of oil separately from the onions, if you wish). At this point you can deglaze your sauté pan with the lime juice, or simply add it to the onion mixture before combining.
  1. Cook for about 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally, especially during the last 15 – 30 minutes, so that the dal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. In the last 15 to 30 minutes, or when becomes thick, turn to the lowest heat so that the dal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  1. Add defrosted spinach in last 20 – 30 minutes of cooking.
  1. Add salt, and taste for correct spicing.
  1. Put out cilantro in bowl for garnish.
Serves 5-6

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