1 cup yellow moong dal/lentil (soaked in water for an hour)
2 cups of fresh chopped spinach (1/4 cup or 3-4 leaves finely chopped for garnish)
1 medium Roma tomato finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger (1/2 tbsp for garnish)
1 tbsp freshly grated garlic
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional)
1 tsp sea salt (according to taste)
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp of lemon juice ( according to taste)
- Cook dal(lentil) and spinach together. I pressure cook them but instant pot can work too or look guidance below.
- Take a large saucepan (with lid aside) and put it on medium heat. Once hot, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Sauté until cumin seeds turn light brown.
- Add onions, ginger, and garlic with 4-5 tbsp of water so the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan
- Sauté until onion turns light brown. Add 2 tbsp of water if needed to avoid sticking to the pan.
- Add chopped tomatoes with salt. Cover with lid for 2-3 mins. Add 2 tbsp of water if needed to avoid sticking to the pan.
- Once tomatoes are soft, add turmeric, Garam masala, red chili powder.
- Cook until turns to paste consistently for 5 mins. Add 2 tbsp of water if needed to avoid sticking to pan or too dry.
- Once the paste thickens, add cooked dal(lentils) and spinach to the saucepan with 1 cup water and mix.
- Stir well and add 1 cup increments of water according to consistency. I try to avoid too watery or too thick.
- Mix lemon juice and cover the lid for 7-10 mins
- Garnish with some leftover grated ginger and finely chop few spinach leaves
- Enjoy with roti and/or brown rice
How to cook lentils without pressure cooker:
I have found that the most reliable way to cook perfectly tender lentils is to bring them to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to low for the rest of cooking. You want to see just a few bubbles in the water and some gentle movement in the lentils. They will plump up nicely without splitting their skins or becoming mushy.