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.
- 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
Directions See How It's Made
- 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.