Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Chana dal (or bengal gram) is my favorite variety of lentil, and together with spinach with a wonderful blend of spices in this dish, makes for a very wholesome, nourishing meal.Prep time does not include time for pre-soaking lentils. (Note: this is a rather dry lentil dish, if you prefer the more wet, soupy variety then you could opt for another recipe with chana dal that I have posted: #83985)
- 3⁄4 cup channa dal (in a pinch, use canned chickpeas)
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Wash lentils and allow to soak in water at least an hour before use (I usually let mine soak overnight).
- Drain the lentils, place in a large pot with enough water to cover the lentils, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils have softened (you may use additional water to do this).
- Cook uncovered to let the cooking liquid evaporate - but be careful not to overcook such that they become mushy.
- Heat oil, add bay leaves and cinnamon, and then fry mustard seeds till they sputter, then add onion, ginger, garlic and chili and fry a further 5 minutes.
- Add spinach and cook for 10 minutes or until spinach is dry and liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir in the remaining spices and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Finally add the lentils, stir and cook a further 5 minutes.
Brilliant recipe! It actually pushed me to finally register here so I could post a review, but also so I could suggest one small correction; Chana Dal are NOT Yellow Lentils, they are husked, split black chickpeas. Indian yellow lentils are Moong Dal; there is also a Mexican yellow lentil whose name escapes me right now. However, I'm betting this recipe would work quite well with yellow lentils of either variety. Maybe you can revise to "Chana Dal or Yellow Lentils with Spinach."
I really wanted to try this, but I didn't have chana dal on hand, so I used urad dal instead. It turned out really great! I also used fresh spinach, just because I had some I needed to use. That made it a lot more work, so I will probably stick with frozen next time. Other than that, I made pretty much as written. I did use pure cayenne for the chile powder and found it to be a little on the mild side, but not in a bad way. This is my idea of real comfort food. Thanks so much for sharing, this will be made frequently at my home!
I really enjoy this recipe but I can't help but feel like there are some spices missing. It's a little bland. Next time I make it I'm going to use a couple of green chilies, more chili powder and some cumin.