I think this might actually be my first Indian dish to make (other than naan).
Halloween is gone but this is kind of a trick or treat recipe. Kind of looks like corn in above picture (trick) but the treat is if you like Indian flavors you will enjoy this dish of yellow lentils and spinach.
I can actually remember the first time I ever had Indian food and it was at an Austin restaurant, the Clay Pit and it was one Christmas and my daughter-in-law, Brooke was pregnant with our first grandson, Milo. Our kids have always encouraged us to try different types of food and Indian food was always one we resisted.
I think that day started with my daughter and daughter-in-law Missy massaging Brooke’s feet because they had read that was suppose to start labor. Everyone decided we should eat Indian and when we stepped inside the restaurant I knew what we would be eating was going to be delicious because of the spicy aromas that smacked us in the face when we walked through the doors.
When we have eaten Indian in Chicago, we usually rely on son and daughter-in-law there to help us in ordering. Of course the naan is always a favorite; how could any kind of bread be bad and after having naan for the first time I did made it with great success.
I really want to try some other Indian recipes so if you have any favorites, please leave a comment below.
The word “dal” is a Hindi catchall name for many varieties of dried peas, beans and lentils. I went to see our Veggie Lady one day to buy some shishito peppers I wanted to try on the grill and saw these beautiful yellow lentils and could not resist buying them. This recipe came from Chow.com. If you haven’t visited Chow or Chowhound.com, you should; it’s my go-to when traveling for good restaurants we want to try.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: You have to try my Garlic Oregano Naan if you make this recipe for Spinach Dal. Next time I make the naan. Our grandsons loved the naan I made while in Chicago.
The yellow lentils were rinsed and then cooked in water for about 45 minutes.
After the lentils have cooked down, they will be soft and look like this.
The garlic and ginger get cooked first for a minute or so then all the spices are added and sautéed another minute.
Stir in the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt. This may take about 5 minutes.
Stir the spinach mixture into the cooked lentils and serve.
Served in a copper dish my son and DIL brought back from their honeymoon in India.
- 2 c. yellow lentils
- 8 c. water
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 ts. turmeric
- 5 medium cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 c. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 medium serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped (or more if you like the heat)
- 8 oz. baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
- steamed rice or naan for serving
- Place the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Transfer to a large saucepan, add the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce thereat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming any scum off the surface with a large spoon, until the peas are completely soft and consistency of split pea soup, about 45 minutes. Remove from thereat and stir in the lemon juice and measured salt; set aside.
- Heat theater in a frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the cumin seeds and turmeric and cook stirring occasionally until the cumin seeds are toasted and fragrant and the butter is very foamy, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and serrano; season with salt; and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is completely wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer the spinach mixture to the reserved saucepan with the split peas and stir to combine. Serve immediately with steamed rice or naan on the side.