Spinach Dal Recipe

This classic Indian recipe combines lentils and spring spinach to make a simple, delicious dish that may be served with rice or bread.

The recipe includes garlic, ginger, and turmeric which have been shown to contain cancer-fighting substances, so this easy-to-make dish is a super health-booster, too. What a great combination: healthy, full of protein and fabulous flavors, and it also happens to be vegan!


1 1/2 cups lentils
4 cups water
2 dried chiles, left whole
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup chopped onions
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger root
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Add washed lentils to a medium pot and cover with the four cups of water. Add the dried chiles, turmeric, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until lentils are very tender, about 35 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep lentils from sticking.

2. About 10 minutes from the end of the lentil cooking time, heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the cumin seeds, and allow to cook for 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in onions and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are softened and translucent. Add spinach and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

3. When the lentils are cooked, remove the chiles and discard them. Add the onion-spinach mixture to the lentils, then add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Stir to combine.

4. May be served on top of rice, or alongside bread.

Serves 6.

By the Care2 Staff.

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Dale O.
DaleLovesOttawa O.about a year ago

Looks quite delicious and I like the fact that the recipe also contains spinach as well.

Barbara Raekson
Barbara R.3 years ago

What type of lentils, though? The red ones will be mush in 35 minutes (which is fine for dhal), so are you using the green ones? Other than that, very interesting recipes, sounds delicious.

Anna Maria M.

sounds terrifically tasty

Jax L.
Jacqueline L.3 years ago

Definitely going to try this! Thanks!

Leena K.
Leena K.4 years ago

Hi, thanks for this wonderful recipe of Spinach dal. I would like to add information of some health benefits of this dal to complement your worthy recipe. http://tinyurl.com/3ev4gqt

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago


Shamana L.
Shamana L.6 years ago

MG! Super delish! Chana Dal has such a low glycemic count!
All those nutrients and helps my arthritis too! Wooohooo! Even the critters in the house like it!

Phylis D.
Phylis D.6 years ago

An even easier and incredibly delicious (surprising for such a simple dish) is: boil the red (masoor) lentils. Meanwhile wilt 1 package of chopped baby spinach in a wide pan, sprinkle with turmeric and Indian powdered chili (cayenne should work)pour in the cooked lentils with salt to taste and simmer for about 5 -10 minutes. Serve with rice and yoghurt/achar if desired.

Shehnaaz Jms
Shehnaaz Jms7 years ago

to reduce cooking time, you can pressure cook the lentils along with the onions.. Mash the cooked lentils and add the chopped spinach to this mixture and boil. You should also add some tamarind extract and boil till the tangy smell goes. Look up bawarchi.com for some really healthy lentil recipes!!

Janelle Allard
J Allard8 years ago

This recipe is so very tasty.
First time I tried it, didn't have dried whole chilis on hand, so added chili flakes -- still excellent!
I have to make another batch!