Spinach Masala Dal is a North Indian lentil soup that’s tangy and slightly sweet, and makes a great accompaniment for plain rice. This spicy dal is nutritious as the spinach provides a lot of iron and greens vitamins, while the yellow lentils provide a lot of protein.
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup chana dal
- (yellow lentils/split bengal gram)
- 4 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tsp lime/lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 3 tbsp coconut, freshly grated
- 3 tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped
- Salt to taste
- 3 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 6-7 red chillies (adjust as needed)
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 bay leaf
- Cook the chana dal with 2 cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder in a pressure cooker for about 5 whistles. Mash the cooked dal.
- Chop and grind the tomatoes in a blender into a smooth paste, strain in a tea strainer to remove seeds and peel, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the spinach with 1 1/2 cups water, turmeric powder, and salt, until soft.
- Add the tomato paste and cooked dal, along with salt as needed.
- Heat oil in a small pan for the seasoning. Add the cumin, fenugreek, cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaf, and fry until golden. Add the red chillies and chilli powder and fry for a ouple of seconds, and pour over the dal. Add the sugar and let the dal come to a boil and remove from heat.
- Remove the bay leaf and a couple of the cloves from the spinach masala dal.
- Stir in the coconut, cilantro, and lime juice before serving the spinach masala dal with plain rice and pappadum.
If you like garlic, you can crush 4 cloves of garlic, add half to the dal when pressure cooking, and the remaining to the seasoning.