Fragrant Red Lentil, Spinach and Tomato Dal Recipe

I think having vegetarian food a couple times a week is really good for you. I always think vegetarian curries work really well and I do love a Dal for an easy tasty healthy mid week dinner. The garam masala and mustard seeds add a lovely fresh note and you get a tiny bit of heat from the fresh and dried chilli flakes. The lentils are really filling and have a nice texture. Yummy!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 180g split red lentils
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • thumb piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, pierced
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • small bag of spinach
  • drizzle of olive oil for frying


  1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan on a medium to high heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly so they soften but don’t brown. Add in the minced ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, cuminand garam masala. Cook for a further 2 minutes again stirring constantly so that the onions get coated and the spices cook out.
  3. Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, stir in salt, bay leaf, whole red chilli and saffron and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 25 minutes making sure to stir every 5-10 mins so the lentils don’t stick, I also had to add a splash of water a few times to keep the consistency that I wanted. 5 mins from the end add in the spinach and leave to wilt. Serve with an indian bread or rice.

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