It’s getting to the end of the month, which means I’m looking for cheap recipes! Thank goodness for my stash of Indian vegetarian recipes; I already have the spices, and the lentils in my cupboard, so all I had to do was buy a bag of spinach, and hey presto: dinner’s ready!
Spinach with moong dal (a small yellow lentil, which you can find at Indian groceries, and online) offers you all the nutrition of leafy green vegetables, alongside a light dose of lentil protein, and the healing properties of both turmeric and garlic.
Cool, huh? Real cool. Beatnik cool, even. Yup, stay with me… there’s a connection. Check it:
Spinach with Yellow Moong Dal (lentils)
1 handful (about ¼ cup) yellow moong dal, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
2 tbsp vegetable, canola or peanut oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 medium clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise (about 1½ cups)
1 green Serrano chile, sliced and seeded if you don’t want it spicy (optional)
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ hing (asfoetida poweder, available at the Indian store)
1 medium roma tomato
1 bag baby spinach
Serve with: brown basmati rice and plain yogurt
1) Heat oil in big skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
2) Add cumin seeds and garlic. Wait until the seeds have finished spluttering, and then add onion, Serrano chile and ginger. Saute until onion has softened.
3) Add spice powders, and sauté for 30 seconds.
4) Add tomatoes; cook until they go mushy.
5) Add lentils, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook about 5 minutes until the lentils are almost cooked.
6) Add spinach, covering to allow the leaves to wilt. Toss, and cook another 5 minutes so that the flavours go through the spinach. Add a little water if the dish gets too dry. It should have a sauce-y consistency. Serve!