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Spoonful of lentil curry with spinach with parathas and egg curry in the background.
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5 from 2 votes

indian lentil curry with spinach

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: lentil curry, lentil curry with spinach
Servings: 8
Calories: 168kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The spice mix

  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

The dahl

  • 1 cups red split lentils masoor dahl
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 8 oz baby spinach coarsely chopped

The tempering

  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes diced or use 2 Tbsp tomato paste diluted in 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt to start. You are going to need more. Adjust to taste.


Cook the dal

  • Combine the lentils, water and turmeric in a pot big enough to hold the spinach.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the lentils disintegrate, about 40 minutes. Add a bit more water if needed. You are going for a thick puree consistency.

Make the tempering

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and cook until the edges of the onions start to brown.
  • Stir in the green chili and garlic ginger paste and cook until the sputtering stops.
  • Add the spice mix and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. This is the critical step. You don't want your spices to burn.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir. Turn the heat down and let it simmer 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir the tempering into the lentils. Add the salt and taste.
  • Mix in the spinach, a bit at a time, letting it wilt into the dal. When all the spinach has been mixed in, cover and let simmer 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the salt and serve. You are going to need more. For sure. So creep up on it. Add a bit. Stir. Taste. Add some more. Keep going until you get it where you want it.


You can buy garlic ginger paste but it's not nearly as good as making it from scratch.


Serving: 8servings | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5470IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3.8mg