June 25, 2011

Dal Palak (Lentil and Spinach Curry)


Siam's gonna be the witness to the ultimate test of culinary fitness. OK, so this isn't exactly something from Siam, but it's in the general area. India, Siam, close enough, right? I jest.

There's a lot more to this than it looks like, yet it's all very standard stuff that you're likely to have on hand. That's one of the beauties of this spinach and lentil curry dish. On the plus side, it's not spicy as-is. You can totally spice the wazoo out of it, but as it stands now, it's a wonderfully flavorful dish on its own. Bonus points for sprouting your lentils first!

Put on rice, a potato, or go a little nuts and make a curry sandwich with an egg. Enjoy!


3 bunches spinach, washed thoroughly and roughly torn
1 pound yellow lentils
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
10 cups water
lemon juice
1/2 cup cooked rice


In a dry thick bottomed skillet, lightly roast the lentils till they are fragrant and golden. Cool them and wash them.

In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then add the turmeric and salt, and ginger. Reduce the heat, and simmer till the lentils are about half done (about 20-30 minutes).

Add the spinach and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20-30 more minutes. The lentils should not dry up while cooking; they have to have a soupy consistency. Remove from heat when the lentils are cooked and soft but not mushed up.

In another pan, heat the oil and cumin and fry until the cumin sizzles.

Add the cooked lentils and spinach to this pan, cover and allow to cook/simmer for another ten minutes. Taste, and season with more salt if needed.

Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the top before serving. Serve hot with rice.


  1. Yum! This is a recipe that doesn't have traditional curry, whack I love, but am allergic to....awesome!

  2. You're right! and it's delicious. Let me know how it turns out for you.