How to cook… Spinach and Lentils Masala


Serves 4 as a main dish

There are an estimated 375 million vegetarians in India, mainly for religious reasons. Menus usually list dishes as Veg and Non-Veg rather than the mian or side dishes that is more usual in the Western world. Lentils are one of the Veg staples, and as well as being tasty with spices they also provide many essential nutrients. Combine them with spinach for a filling and healthy meal. Lentils are usually served with rice or roti.

What you need
• 250g brown lentils
• Salt to taste
• 1 teaspoon oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1.5 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 200g spinach, chopped
• A few coriander leaves to garnish

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• I Tablespoon curry powder
• 5 curry leaves

How you make it
1. Soak the lentils for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. Drain the water and add to a pressure cooker, add a pinch of salt and cover with fresh water. Cook until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes). Set aside.
2. Heat the oil to a medium heat and cook the onion until it softens (about 5–7 minutes).
3. Add the garlic, ginger, the Spice Mix, tomato paste and tomato with a little water, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the spinach until it wilts (about 3 minutes).
5. Add all the ingredients into the pressure cooker with the lentils and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
6. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves

To save chopping the spinach freeze it in the bag then remove it and bash the bag with the back of your hand. The spinach will snap into small pieces.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

Why were these cakes shivering? … Because they were chilli.

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