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Red Lentil & Spinach Dahl

by Sharon on May 31, 2013


Some food looks great in photos and others…well, not so much. However, I’ve decided that this blog is not just about looks. It’s about taste, real food, healthy ingredients etc. I won’t not post something just because the camera may not love it. This is the case with this Indian Dahl. It won’t win any Miss Photogenic contests any time soon but it has Miss Congeniality wrapped up!

Spicy and packed with flavour, this healthy vegetarian dish will please your palate and keep you full for hours. If you wanted to add some more protein to it besides the lentils, I’m sure some chicken stewed in with this would also be very good. I do like to keep it meatless for a couple of meals a week so I’m keeping this one vegetarian. It’s also very vegan friendly, if you are so inclined, as you can easily sub out the butter for Earth Balance or just use more olive oil.

Start with rinsing the red lentils, them soaking them for about 20 minutes.


I love the colour of the red lentil:) It would make a great nail polish hue!


In the meantime chop up a medium sized onion.


In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the red lentils, turmeric and chili powder and let simmer.

Meanwhile, chiffonade 4 cups of spinach. Chiffonade is a fancy chef’s term for slicing greens into strips. I like fancy chef talk.


Add the spinach to the lentils, stir well and leave to simmer.


Melt some butter and olive oil in a small pot and add the onion along with curry powder, ginger, ground mustard, cumin and sea salt and pepper. Cook the onion until it’s softened. About 5 minutes.




Pour the onions into the lentils, stir well. Pour in the coconut milk and cook until heated through.



Keep in mind that I really like the spice so you may have to scale the flavour to suit your own taste buds. Serve this over brown rice.


Red Lentil & Spinach Dahl


  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 4 cups spinach, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  1. Rinse lentils and soak for 20 minutes
  2. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add in lentils, turmeric, and chili powder
  3. Stir well and return to a boil
  4. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Add spinach to lentils, stir, and leave over low heat
  6. In a small saucepan, melt butter with olive oil and add in onions and remaining spices
  7. Cook onions until softened, about 5 minutes
  8. Stir onions into lentils and pour in coconut milk
  9. Cook until heated through and serve over brown rice

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Oh, this looks good. I’m curious, how do you chiffonade your spinach? It seems like it would be so time consuming, do you have any tips?


Sharon June 7, 2013 at 12:07 am

I stack the spinach leaves on top of each other, lining them up as close as I can, making a pile around 2 inches high , then slice whole the pile into strips. It can be done pretty quickly:)


Elvira August 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm

what can i substitute for coconut milk? and I don’t like chili powder..do i just leave it out or is there a substitute for that as well?


Sharon August 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

You could try subbing almond milk or try regular milk or cream. As far as the chili powder leaving it out is no big deal. Maybe add a little more ground pepper instead.


Anne February 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Yum, yum, yum, yum , yummmmm. So warming on a cold winter day


Sharon February 6, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Absolutely! Yum x 10 :)


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