Recipe of the Week – 28th September 2015 – Spinach Chana Dal

This recipe is a variation on one I had tried before, as I was lucky enough to be given a large bunch of fresh spinach from the allotment of one of my customers at the cafe. With the spinach added at the end, it gives a great variation in texture to the dish, as well as colour and flavour!

Serves 6


300g Chana Dal (yellow split peas), soaked for 3 hours

2 medium onions, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

6 tbs sunflower oil

1 tbs garam masala

1 tbs turmeric powder

1 tbs ground cumin

2 tsp salt

2 green chillies chopped 

2 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

200g fresh spinach, stalks removed then roughly chopped

A small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. Rinse the soaked Chana Dal thoroughly and place in a large saucepan of slightly salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.

2. Add the oil to a large saucepan and fry the onions, garlic and chillies in a saucepan on a low heat until starting to brown, then add the garam masala, turmeric, cumin and salt and then the chopped tomatoes. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

3. Add the Chana Dal mixture to the onion mixture, together with 100ml water. Stir well and gently simmer for 20 minutes until soft.

4. Add the coconut milk to the mixture, and stir well.

5. Take off the heat, add the chopped spinach and cover. After 10 minutes, stir well and season.

6. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve rice or naan bread.


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