Red Lentil Dahl with Spinach
1 cup of red lentils (I toast these first in a dry pan, using my fingers to stir. When it is too hot to touch, it is done. This gives a nutty flavor to the lentils.)
1 Lemon (chopped into eighths)
1 White onion (sliced thinly)
2 Green cardamom pods
1 Cinnamon stick
2 Cloves garlic (peeled and finely minced)
3 fresh green chilies (de-seeded and finely minced)
1 inch of fresh ginger (peeled and finely minced)
1 tsp each of ground turmeric/ginger/cumin/coriander seed/hot chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 Pints of water, chicken or vegetable stock
1 Bag of baby spinach (washed)
Vegetable or Canola oil for cooking
Put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a hot pan and when it comes to heat,
Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1 minute on low heat until they release their flavor.
Add the onions, sprinkle with a little salt and cook on a low heat until they begin to soften and turn golden. Don’t rush this, as you want the natural sweetness of the onions to be released.
Add the minced ginger and garlic paste and cook for two to four minutes until it loses its rawness.
Add the minced chilies and cook for four minutes.
Add the ground spices, sugar and salt and mix well with the onions and cook for 4 minutes until the spices lose their rawness. If the mixture begins to stick, add a little water.
Add the lentils and mix well so all the pulses are covered with the mixture.
Add 1 1/2 pints of water/stock.
Add the lemon pieces.
Simmer for 30- 40 minutes until the lentils have broken down.
Add more water if it sticks. Some lentils may take a little longer to break down.
After 30 minutes, whisk the dahl gently to help break down the lentils.
Add the spinach, cover and allow to wilt into the lentils.
Serve with boiled rice.