Chana Dal (Yellow Lentils) With Spinach

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by eatrealfood

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)

Top Review by Leigh H.

Who cares if it's authentic, it's delicious. I used kale because I prefer it and because I had it in the fridge, adding it and some water after the onions etc. started to release the oil, which increased the cooking time; once the kale was tender, I evaporated the liquid back to the oil, and then proceeded as usual. Also had a boiled potato on hand so added that when I did the dal and it didn't hurt it a bit. I did add 1/4 tsp of amchur (dried mango) to offset the kale's bitterness, and I think next time I would add a bit of turmeric to boost the color. Otherwise, this is now one of my go-to recipes. I think even my husband would eat it. I don't think canned chickpeas would be an acceptable substitute, though.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash lentils and allow to soak in water at least an hour before use (I usually let mine soak overnight).
  2. 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).
  3. Cook uncovered to let the cooking liquid evaporate - but be careful not to overcook such that they become mushy.
  4. 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.
  5. Add spinach and cook for 10 minutes or until spinach is dry and liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Stir in the remaining spices and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Finally add the lentils, stir and cook a further 5 minutes.

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