Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spinach with Mung Bean Lentil dhal

I think I am making my computer work too hard, so to protest that, for the last few days my computer has been giving me all sorts of problems. I am working to resolve these problems, but I just wanted to let my readers know that this is reason for the delay in posting the roundup of the salad event.

Moving on, the combination of spinach with lentils endlessly fascinates me and I am always on the lookout for more ways to make a combination of these two ingredients. Last week when I was looking to make some curry or dhal with spinach in it, I came across this recipe and decided to make it. I adapted this recipe, adding more spinach and changed the quantity of spices to suit our tastes. The result was a very healthy, low fat, simple, quick and tasty dhal that was perfect with phulkas. Try it with any roti of choice or even just plain steamed rice if you want....

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Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Spinach Mung bean lentil dhal
1 1/2 cups split mung bean lentil soaked for 2 hours ( split mung with skin)
3 cups of packed spinach leaves cut fine
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
ginger 1 inch piece minced fine
salt to taste
approximately 5 cups water
3 tbsp lime juice (or to taste) depending on the tartness of the lime (lemon juice can also be used instead of limes)

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing/ perungayam)
4 dry red chillies broken into small pieces (or to taste)
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies slit lengthwise (optional)

 Soak the mung bean lentil for 2 hours in sufficient water. Drain, place the lentils in a large heavy bottomed container and fill with fresh water enough to submerge the lentils and cook on medium  to medium high heat until lentils are soft but not mushy. Add water as required while lentils are cooking and stir frequently for even cooking. It took me about fifteen to twenty minutes to cook these lentils to correct consistency.

Add minced ginger, turmeric powder, spinach, salt to taste and cook for a few more minutes until spinach is cooked. Once spinach is cooked, lower heat and allow to slow simmer.
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In a small pan heat oil, add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start to splutter add hing/asafoetida powder, red chilies and green chilies and stir for a few seconds. Pour this entire seasoning along with oil on the cooked lentils and spinach and allow the dhal to simmer for a few more minutes until the flavors come together.

Remove from heat, garnish with lime juice. 

Serve hot with plain steamed rice/ phulka / roti of choice

My current batch of red chilies is pretty mild so even with this quantity I got a mildly spicy dhal, use red chilies or green chilies according to taste.

This dhal is off to the MLLA 22 event being hosted by Ruchika originally started by Susan 
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