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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Sng

Spinach and tomato dhal

Indian food has always been intimidating because of all the spices I have to buy before I can even make one dish. But it was worth it to trek to the specialty organic store to find the cardamom, curry leaves and mustard seeds. And boy, was it spicy!

Serves 4


For the dhal

  • 1 cup lentils (red, yellow or green)

  • 3 thick slices ginger

  • 2 chopped green chillis

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce

  • 3 big tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 bunches baby spinach, chopped

  • 1 potato, peeled and diced into small pieces

  • 1 large onion, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 knob of ginger, chopped

  • 8-10 curry leaves

  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 3-5 pods cardamom

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter

Mix the dhal ingredients in a pot and cover with water until 3 centimetres above lentils. Cook until dhal softens, then set aside.

In a big pot, heat butter and add onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, mustard and curry leaves. Stir fry till fragrant. No need to brown the onions.

Add chopped tomato, chilli powder, cumin, pepper and diced potato. Stir well.

Add a cup of water and let it simmer till the tomato breaks down and you have a nice sauce. If it is too dry, add more water. Check that the potato is cooked by piercing with a fork.

Add the cooked dhal and the spinach, stir well and cover for 3-5 minutes till spinach has wilted.

Add salt to taste. If you want it wetter, add more water.

Optional: Just before serving, stir in 2-3 tablespoons cottage cheese. This makes it creamier, adds a different texture and provides more protein. I would think cubes of paneer would also be awesome.

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