Palak Dhal (Spinach and Lentils)

    1 hour 5 min

    This is my own adaptation of an Indian recipe. It is simple, but surprisingly yummy. Serve this for a healthy vegan dinner over basmati rice.

    352 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 onions, halved and sliced into 1/2 rings
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 75g (3 oz) toor dhal (yellow split pigeon peas)
    • 450ml (16 fl oz) water
    • 275g (10 oz) frozen spinach
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Sauté onion for 10 minutes or so, until it begins to turn golden. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
    2. Add lentils and water to the saucepan. Bring mixture to the boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer about 35 minutes, until lentils are soft (this may take less time, depending on your water and the lentils).
    3. Meanwhile cook the spinach in microwave according to package directions. Add spinach, salt and cumin to the saucepan. Cover and simmer until heated through, about ten minutes. Grind in plenty of pepper to taste.


    Toor dhal, the most widely used dhal in India, will be available in your local Asian shop, or via the Internet. It also comes in an oily variety, Malawi. You could, however, substitute yellow split peas in a pinch.

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    Reviews in English (304)


    This was easy to make but quite bland, I think some more spices would add interest. Probably won't make this again, but I do recommend toor dhal - it's much nicer than red lentils!  -  24 Jul 2012


    This was seriously good. I used 1 cup of red lentils, and 2.5 cups of vegetable broth in place of the water specified. I also used half a white onion, half a red onion, four cloves of garlic, and during the last five minutes, wilted fresh spinach directly on top of the lentils, along with the remaining salt, pepper, cumin and garlic specified in the recipe. Got rave reviews from vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Excellent recipe!  -  21 Feb 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I have been making this for a few years and love it every time. I always use fresh spinach and substitute chicken broth for the water. Very tasty!!  -  02 Jul 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)