Lentils cooked with spinach and aromatic garlic

This spinach and lentil dhal from Miss Masala packs a punch with garlic, cumin and chilli
By Mallika Basu
Lentils cooked with spinach and aromatic garlic
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 50 g moong dal, (split yellow) lentils
  • 50 g red masoor dahl, (split red) lentils
  • ' tsp turmeric, powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ' tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cubes frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • ' tsp chilli powder
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Wash the lentils thoroughly, place in a medium pan and cover with twice as much cold water. Add the turmeric and bring to the boil. Cook for around 1 hour, or until the lentils are tender.

2. Peel and finely chop two of the garlic cloves, peel and slice the onion and chop the tomato. Pour the oil into a small pan set over a high heat. When it's hot, add the cumin and the garlic. As they sizzle up, stir in the tomato and onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened.

3. Next add the spinach, lower the heat to medium and cook until defrosted. Keep an eye on the lentils, adding a little hot water if they start to dry up. To keep the dhal thick, don't add too much water, just a little bit every time the lentils start spluttering because they're getting too dry.

4. When the lentils are fully incorporated and have become soup-like in consistency, stir in the spinach masala mixture. Add a little hot water to combine all the ingredients and keep the dhal bubbling to let the flavours infuse.

5. After about 5 minutes, melt the ghee in a small pan set over a high heat, and peel and slice the remaining two garlic cloves. When the ghee is hot, add the garlic and the chilli powder. As the garlic starts turning golden brown, mix this tadka into the dal.

6. Stir in the lemon juice, add salt to taste and serve with basmati rice.

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