Creamy green spinach with yellow lentils spiced with curcumin, garlic and coconut is a family favorite which often gets prepared for #SundaySupper. Love this heart healthy dish ! It is super easy to make and packed with fiber and antioxidants. It has an exotic aroma that floats around the home and has everyone asking : Is it Dinner time yet ? It is a vegan dish that is also high protein courtesy of the lentils. The coconut and garlic lend a delicate flavor to it. We eat it scooped over rice or with Nann or Pita bread, but you can just have it like a bowl of soup. Either way it’s a wholesome satisfying dish that is great for the Lenten season if you are eating only veggies.
Nutrition Nuts and bolts about the key ingredients
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Spinach : Loaded with B vitamins, fiber and Vitamin A. Use fresh or frozen for the dish
Lentils : High in fiber and antioxidants.Lentils are low Glycemic Index ( GI) foods and are excellent to keep your sugar levels steady. I use yellow lentils or dal. I get them from the Indian Store and usually pressure cook them. You can also cook them in a crock pot for a few hrs. If cooking in a crock pot I recommend soaking them over night to lessen cooking time.
Curcumin : This super antioxidant is known for its effects in fighting cancer, arthritis, diabetes, cataracts, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis, and reversing Alzheimer’s disease. You can add a generous amount to this dish since it just blends in and adds to the flavor.
Garlic : A chemical called allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds in garlic may help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, and help prevent some cancers. Add just a few fresh pods to give the dish a zesty flavor.
Coconut : Rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and boosts the immune system. Adds a whimsical unique flavor to the lentil dish.
Slow cook in crockpot or cook in a pressure cooker for a quick dish.
- Dry Yellow Lentils ( Dal) – 1and 1/2 cups
- Spinach – 16 oz frozen or 1 lb fresh
- Garlic – 5 pods
- Curcumin/ turmeric – 1 tbsp
- Onion – 1 sliced
- Tomatoes – 1 large chopped
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp ( optional)
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Coconut meat( dry, frozen or fresh) – 2 tbs
- Cilantro – 1/2 cup finely chopped
- Cook lentils along with garlic and curcumin in pressure cooker or in crock pot for 4-6 hrs till soft. If cooking in crockpot, soak over night to lessed cooking time.
- Wash and chop spinach and add to cooked lentils and cook for 10 minutes’
- Heat oil, add mustard seeds, add finely sliced onions and saute till onions are transparent and soft.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cumin powder and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add coconut meat and cook 1 minute.
- Add the above mixture to spinach lentils and cook on slow heat for 10 minutes.
- Add cilantro.
- Serve hot with plain rice, Pita bread, Naan or have it as soup .