Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens



  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 cups loosely packed shredded greens, like beet greens, spinach, or swiss chard Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed, but left whole


Step 1

Place the red lentils in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the top, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until creamy and tender.

Step 2

While the lentils are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and ginger, and cook for 3 minutes, until tomatoes soften. Add the turmeric and stir. Stir in the greens and let them wilt, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in the onion-tomato-greens into the dal, and simmer for a few minutes to warm through. Season to taste with the salt.

Step 4

In a small pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and add the cumin seeds and garlic clove. Fry for 30 seconds, until the cumin sizzles, then turn off the heat and pour the seasoned oil, cumin seeds and garlic into the dal. Cover and let it infuse.

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