We are on our flight back from Barcelona as I write this post. It was such a fabulous vacation. The cities in Europe have this charm about them- the culture, the architecture, and the food everything has its own story to tell. I know I’m going to have some major vacation withdrawals but nonetheless I’m looking forward to being back in my own home, sleeping in my own bed and cooking in my kitchen!
Over the last 10 days, I had the opportunity to experience so many different types of food and I can’t wait to experiment and recreate them but for now I’m thinking what to cook tomorrow. Typically after a long trip away from home, I crave for a simple wholesome comfort food. Nothing says more comfort food to me than dal.
This red lentil dal recipe is a quick one pot meal. It’s packed with flavor, spices and the aroma of my childhood. I love using my instant pot for making this, but you can easily follow the instructions to make it in a stove top pot or pressure cooker.
Red lentils, also called masoor dal are are excellent source of protein. There is 10 grams of protein in each serving of this dal!!! Being a vegetarian, I always try to incorporate various types of lentils in my meal planning. Plus red lentils don’t need to be soaked in advance, so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal! Adding spinach to it just makes it more nutritional, but you can totally skip the spinach if you like. This dal taste fanatics as is like a soup or you can have it with some warm white or brown rice. It stores well in the refrigerator and makes for a great lunch option!
Spinach & Red Lentil Dal
- 1 cup red lentils/ masoor dal
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 handfuls of spinach roughly chopped
- 2 to matoes diced
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder/ cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 6-8 mint leaves roughly chopped (optional)
- Handful of cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
- Set you Instant pot to sauté mode.
- Add ghee and let it the ghee become hot.
- Once hot, add the cumin seeds. They should crackle once you add them to the hot ghee.
- Add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add all the spices to the pot- cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder, salt and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and let them sweat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spinach one handful at a time and let them wilt down.
- Now add the red lentils and 2 cups of water.
- Cover the Instant pot. Set it on high power for 10 minutes. If using a regular pot, bring the dal to a boil and then cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils soften.
- Once cooked, add the lemon juice, mint leaves and cilantro.
- Serve as a soup or with warm rice.