There is something warm & tasty about this dal. Spinach along with spices, both fresh and dried, give lentils a complex flavor. You can use any lentil but I prefer one of these : French green lentils / Chana dal / Green Moong dal. Here I’ve used the Chana dal. You can make it thick or thin depending on how you want to eat it. Pressed for time? Throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker and you are good to go !
Serves: 4 Difficulty Level: Medium
Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking time : 40 minutes
Ready In : 45 minutes Course: Main / Appetizer
1 cup lentils, picked over, washed & well drained
5 cups water
1 tsp Turmeric
2 cups baby spinach , washed
For Oil Tempering
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ cup onion, diced
1 tbsp grated ginger ( fresh)
½ tbsp minced garlic ( fresh)
1 medium tomato, diced
Salt & black pepper according to taste
Put lentils, turmeric, salt and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil & turn the heat to medium & simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Now add spinach leaves and simmer again for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add more water during cooking if necessary.
For the tempering:
- Heat oil with cumin seeds in a small pan over medium high heat. Cumin seeds will turn brown( 1- 2 minutes).
- Add onions & sauté them. When onions turn golden add ginger, garlic & tomatoes. Sauté all these on a medium flame ( 4-5 minutes).
- Pour this oil tempering over the cooked lentils in the pan.
- Add salt & black pepper to taste & serve hot.
Enjoy with wheat tortillas or boiled rice.
You can add some fresh yogurt ( plain ) or sour cream to this soup to make it creamy.
You may cook the lentils in a pressure cooker too. Just add 3 cups of water instead of 5 cups & let the steam release 2-3 times. This will save your cooking time but over all it will take same time as the pressure cooker takes some time to cool down before it is safe to open it.
It’s always a good idea to soak the lentils for 2 hours before cooking them, either in saucepan or pressure cooker. If you plan to cook them for lunch, soak them in the morning; if for dinner then soak them in the afternoon.
Lentils are a good source of proteins & spinach in this dal provides iron.
Did you know?
Chana dalis produced by removing the outer layer of kala chana (black chickpeas) and then splitting the kernel.