Lentil and spinach dal

lentils and mung beans tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, chillies

Simples ways to success: Indian, 192pp.
by Das Sreedharan
Hinkler Books, Dingley Victoria, 2003
Cooking on page 64

Indian food is one of my favourites. Last year, we travelled in India for almost three months and I never tired of having curry every day.

Not surprisingly, I own way too many Indian cookbooks. This is one of my newer acquisitions, and I got it for the bargain price of $8.

Have to confess that I bought it just for the recipe on page 64 (32 x 2). Pages 32 and 132 are both chapter dividers.

So what tempted me on page 64?

lentil and spinach dal

Lentil and spinach dal

Ingredients and method
Put 100g (3 1/2 oz) split red lentils, 50g (2 oz) mung beans, 50g (2 oz) chana dal or split peas, 1 chopped potato, 3 diced onions, 3 diced green chillies, 3 chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder and 650ml (1 pint 2 fl oz) water in a pan.

Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Add 100g (3 1/2 oz) spinach leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan, briefly fry 1/4 tsp cumin seeds with 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, then pour over the dal to serve.

dal mixture

How it played out
There were three recipes on the spread of pages 64–65, but this was the only one of page 64.

The picture looked enticing, so I made this as written using peanut oil, baby spinach and split peas, and chillies and tomatoes from my garden.

Not everyone loves dal, but I adore it. So while I gave this two thumbs up, I needed to let others have their say.

I made this as part of an Indian feast (11 dishes in all) for Petra’s cricket team. One of the guests summed up everyone’s opinion when she said, ‘I don’t usually like dal, but this one is fantastic’.

Indian cookbook

Enough said.

We had some wonderful meals in India, especially some dishes from hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Mussoori.




About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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29 Responses to Lentil and spinach dal

  1. I enjoy lentils very much – they are so healthy. I’ve sprouted them and stir fried the sprouts then chilled for a cold salad. This Indian recipe looks and sounds quite yummy. Worth the $8 of that bargain cookbook, Peggy! LOL

  2. Ooooo I like this !!! Yay ! something else to make with lentils 🙂

  3. Yummi 😛
    But you cook red lentils, beans and chana dal directly in a pot or soak them before in warm water for at least 12 hours?
    Usually I soak them so that they are more tender.

  4. Excellent dish for Meatless Monday! Will have to try this very soon… maybe with some naan?

  5. MK says:

    Oh this looks so yummy! I will give it a try.

  6. ninja network says:

    Reblogged this on Engineer Marine Skipper.

  7. Sy.S says:

    I love a basic Dahl with curry beef or chicken and white rice. So this recipe is of interest to me., since it is an enhanced Dahl with vegetables. it came out very good, but I would also add some Ginger, Garam Masala and a touch of Ghee for a slightly better Indian flavor.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Perfect suggestions Sy. I must go back and add that I used peanut oil for this. When I cook Indian I use one or a mix of ghee, peanut oil and mustard oil.

  8. Sy.S says:

    P.S. I tried to send along an e-mail with photos… but it bounced?

  9. Sy.S says:

    P.S.#2- Being single I always make too much. FYI- This dish can be made into a hot or cold soup.
    I added some water and a dollop of sour cream for a cold soup. Or people can add some water, heat it up in the microwave and then add some sour cream for a hot soup!

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  12. Mama Cormier says:

    Peggy I had no idea that you had a cooking blog as well. I love Indian food and I love dal. This recipe looks fairly easy to make and not too time consuming.

  13. Your cooking blog looks very inviting Peggy, so you just got a new follower here.
    I like Indian food so very much and your recipe is in for trying 🙂

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