Easy Spinach Daal

I’ve called this ‘daal’ because it is an adaption of a more complex recipe which involved lots of  faffing about time spent crushing cardamoms and roasting cumin seeds. I wanted to experiment with a simpler recipe using basic curry powder and the heavenly combination of spinach and lentils. I came across green chillies, fresh spinach and fresh coriander in the reduced section in Tesco, so this dish suggested itself from the beginning. The prices below are standard Tesco prices, not reduced prices. 

You will need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil £1.25/1l

250g chana dal (or yellow split peas) £2/2kg

1 onion, finely chopped 17p/each

1 tin chopped tomatoes 31p/400g

450g fresh spinach £2/450g

3 fresh green chillies 60p/65g

2 teaspoons garlic salt £1.15/90g

1 vegetable stock cube 15p/100g

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander 80p/31g

3 teaspoons mild curry powder £1/80g

TOTAL 82p per serving

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently heat the onion until softened.

2. Add the spinach leaves and heat gently until wilted.

3. Prick the chillies several times with the tip of a sharp knife.

4. Add the chillies, tomatoes, stock cube, coriander and curry powder to the pan.

5. Stir to combine.

6. Add the chana dal and enough water to cover.

7. Bring to the boil with the lid on.

8. Turn down the heat and simmer for around 40 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally and making sure the mixture evaporates but not so much that it boils dry. The chana dal should begin to break down but not go mushy.

9. Add more water if necessary.

10. Serve with chappatis, poppadums, or steaming hot basmati rice.

11. Enjoy!


Chana dal look exactly the same as yellow split peas, so they are probably interchangeable. I believe the chana dal are more oily, which suits this kind of dish. Either way, it is an inexpensive yet tasty dish.


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