Dhal with spinach and tomatoes

Dhal with spinach and tomatoes
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 15 min, simmering time 35 min

This dhal with spinach and tomatoes is great on its own or served as a side dish. Full of lentils and vegetables and fragrant spice flavours, this makes a cheap and healthy meal.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
414kcals
Fat
17g (7.4g saturated)
Protein
20.9g
Carbohydrates
45.9g (6.3g sugars)
Fibre
6.6g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
414kcals
Fat
17g (7.4g saturated)
Protein
20.9g
Carbohydrates
45.9g (6.3g sugars)
Fibre
6.6g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 300g red lentils
  • 15g fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 8 curry leaves (see tip)
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced, rice/naan bread and lemon wedges to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Put the lentils in a heavy-based pan with the coriander stalks and 2-3 pinches of salt, then pour over the coconut milk and 600ml cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, adding the tomatoes after 10 minutes. After 30 minutes the lentils will have broken down and the whole thing will be thick and creamy. Give it a quick whisk with a balloon whisk to make it extra creamy. If it’s too thick you can add a little more water. Simmer gently, stirring often, while you get the spice mixture ready.
  2. Heat the oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the garam masala, mustard seeds, chilli and curry leaves, then leave over a low heat. After about 1 minute, they should smell fragrant (they should have lost their bitter edge – that’s why it’s called tempering the spices.) Remove from the heat and stir straight into the lentils, reserving 1 tbsp. Be careful as the mixture will spit a little. Whisk to combine, then stir in the spinach. Add more salt to taste.
  3. Ladle the dhal into bowls, then sprinkle over the coriander leaves and reserved spices. If you like, top with spring onions and serve with rice or naan bread and lemon wedges to squeeze over.

delicious. tips

  1. If you can find fresh curry leaves (from Ocado and Asian grocers), they’re best, but you can use dried instead. If you find fresh, buy lots and put those you don’t use in a bag in the freezer (no need for prep).
    A good dhal is worth buying good spices for – store in airtight containers and use within 3 months.

  2. Make up to the end of step 2, then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat. Gently fry a little spice (as in step 2) to top.

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Reviews

Read what others say...

  1. Nice but a little bit plain. I’m missing the ginger and a good whack of garlic. I enjoyed cooking the spice mix like this though! Might ramp it up a bit more next time.

  2. I wonder if the coconut milk could be swapped with veg stock ? I’m on a reduced saturated fat regime and coconut products are a real no no.

  3. I love this recipe because Dahl is always a real comfort food, but this has the added bonus of tomatoes and spinach along with the spices and coriander. Delicious and healthy, what more can you ask?

  4. Really like this recipe we had our with parathas yum. Only other comment, here is no specific mention of where the curry leaves are to be added. When tempering the spices or at the end wight the coriander leaves and spring onion? I tempered them and it seemed to work fine.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      There was an error on the page which has now been amended – you’re right – the curry leaves are to be aded with the rest of the spices.
      Thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed the recipe.

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