Mixed Dal with Spinach

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I want to tell you a little story. Recently my son’s grandmother turned 60 and threw a birthday bash with all her friends and family. None of our friends or family are vegan, so we’ve come to expect to have to fend for ourselves when it comes to eating at social events. We ate before the party, fully expecting a complete lack of vegan options. I was surprised and overwhelmed when the caterer announced that she had saved us some vegan food separately from the rest of the buffet! It was nothing spectacular; some vegetable spring rolls and spicy wedges, plus some delicious vegan chocolates for dessert. I was so pleased that my son’s grandmother had been so considerate as to make sure we would have something to eat, and the caterer had even approached a vegan for advice on what to feed us! I just wanted to share this little anecdote to show that the simplest of things can make us so happy, which brings us to today’s recipe…

If you’re a regular reader here at The Green Genie, you’ll know that I make a lot of dal. For me, dal is the ultimate comfort food. What I love the most is that it can be such a simple, easy meal and yet can fill me with warmth and happiness. Honestly, I also love that dal has endless possibilities. Virtually every dal recipe I create, I love, and that’s why so many of them make it onto the blog. I created this particular dal to help me feel better when I had a nasty head cold. I packed in loads of spinach to keep my iron levels up. Lentils are a great source of protein, making them a great option when you’re feeling under the weather. Plus, dal is warming and comforting and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Even if you’re not ill, I suggesting making this dal anyway because, well, it’s yummy! And if you want to see more yummy recipes have a look around the site and check back on Sunday for a pasta dish that’ll make you swoon!

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Mixed Dal with Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil spray

1 cinnamon stick

2-3 bay leaves

4 cloves

3 cardamom pods

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated

1” ginger, peeled and finely grated

150g red lentils (masoor dal), washed

100g yellow lentils (mung dal), washed

50g toor dal, washed

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp salt

250g baby spinach

Handful chopped coriander

  1. Place a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and spray with oil. When hot, add the whole spices and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils with the ground spices, salt and 1.5 litres of water. Mix well, cover partially and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  2. Add the spinach and coriander and stir until wilted. Serve with rice or chapattis.
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