French Lentils Spiked with Mustard

French Puy Lentils, Vegan
I’ve been running a little busy lately, which is why you haven’t heard me chatter on as long as I usually do in my posts. Maybe some of you are even relieved :)Anyway, I quickly wanted to post this very simple weeknight recipe for a very nutritious and delicious lentil curry. It’s made with French Puy Lentils, which I love, not least because they cook up easily and have a great, peppery taste.

I used mustard to spice up these lentils. While mustard is used often enough in Indian cooking, I used it a little differently here than I usually do: I ground it up before adding it. Mustard adds a spicy, almost slightly sour punch to the curry, and I couldn’t have been happier.

The addition of spinach makes this curry even healthier. Feel free to substitute other greens, including watercress.

So here’s the recipe. Enjoy, everyone, and me and my prattle will be back soon, rest assured!

French Lentils Spiked with Mustard
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dal
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup French Puy Lentils (can substitute with whole green lentils or Masoor)
  • 1 12-oz package of frozen spinach, preferably thawed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds, ground into a powder in a food processor of coffee grinder
  • 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (optional)
  1. Cover the lentils with water, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour. I do this in a pressure cooker, but you can do this on the stove-top or in the microwave.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the sliced onions.
  4. Saute the onions until translucent, then add the garlic. Stir-fry for another minute.
  5. Add the spinach and saute for another 3-4 minutes. You want the spinach to have completely thawed before adding the remaining ingredients.
  6. Add tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric and mustard-seed powder. Stir together for about a minute.
  7. Add the lentils-spinach mixture and stir in.
  8. Add salt to taste. Bring the curry to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for five minutes.
  9. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

20 thoughts on “French Lentils Spiked with Mustard

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 4, 2009 at 3:29pm

    That looks delicious. Mustard will add a nice zing to this curry. Hope things are going great for you. & I really love reading your posts.

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    Curry Leaf

    February 4, 2009 at 4:00pm

    Lovely and healthy.Even if you are not so chatty as you feel,the dishes speak loud and clear and as perfect as it can be.Love the dish and your posts.If interested send it to Susan for MLLA 8

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    February 4, 2009 at 4:11pm

    oooh, that looks yummy, give me a few roti’s and I’ll be off :-) This is the kind of dish I have been craving every night, a warm, hearty lentil dish to drive away the winter.

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    February 4, 2009 at 5:35pm

    Sounds great, comforting dal for Winter,all spiked up with Mustard paste.Love the photo too!

    I made a dal too today, will post at Aroma on Friday.

    Take it easy there! :)

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 4, 2009 at 8:17pm

    Mustard and lentils the combo looks very tasty. I just imagine the taste of this spicy curry

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    February 4, 2009 at 9:40pm

    Looks very delicious & healthy. Nice combo.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 4, 2009 at 10:07pm

    ooh, that bowl of soup looks so delcious and mouth-watering. mustard and letils sounds a yummy combo.

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    February 5, 2009 at 1:50am

    Thats a yummy post. Must be a really delicious curry.

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    February 5, 2009 at 6:01am

    Looks so rich, like the mustard flavor. Picture looks great!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 5, 2009 at 10:44am

    This is new to me. Looks delicious Vaishali. Hey, I tried your Morrocan Chickpea stew. will post it sometime. Thanks for the recipe

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 5, 2009 at 2:05pm

    I also prepare something similar using masoor daal. Will have to try the puy lentils yet.

    Thank you very much for your comments in my blog and please indulge me with your entries.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 5, 2009 at 5:50pm

    Lentils and mustard? Can you read my mind? Sounds amazing.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 5, 2009 at 10:01pm

    Happy, Thanks.

    Meera, the mustard certainly makes a huge difference. Thanks for your kind words, dear.

    Curry, Thanks for the suggestion. I will send it in.

    Priya, Asha, Cham, Trupti, Uma, Maya, Madhu: Thanks, ladies.

    Deesha, Thanks and glad you tried the Moroccan stew. Will look forward to your post.

    Madhuram, you should have my third entry soon. Thanks!

    Mihl, thanks!

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 6, 2009 at 1:47pm

    A bengali touch with ground mustard! My hubby will drool! many bong specialities are made with mustard paste!

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    September 24, 2009 at 11:31pm

    I made this dish today and it didn’t come out looking anything like the picture, it was very dry. Did I leave out a liquid somewhere, should I cook the spinach and lentils with more liquid and add that to the sauce pan?

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    September 25, 2009 at 12:26am

    Anonymous, this is a very basic fact — you need to add water to any lentil dish if it starts getting dry. It is impossible for me to give estimates of the amount of water to be used in a dish like this because people use different methods to cook their lentils– I usually use a pressure cooker but people sometimes use microwaves or cook on the stovetop and that requires different quantities of water to tenderize the lentil. In future, just add water if something is dry.

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    September 28, 2011 at 2:13pm

    Made this last night and it was super delicious. Even my two young boys cleaned their bowls. It certainly pays off to introduce kids to different ethnic cuisine. We served it with basmati and green chutney. Thanks for the great recipe! So glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

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    January 8, 2012 at 7:52pm

    You are a blessing. I have always loved Indian food, but been in a dilemma as I’m trying to take the next step from vegetarian to vegan…I’ve tried several times without success, unfortunately. Just made this recipe (AWESOME) and will be making many more (especially the carrot halwa!!) very soon!

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    January 8, 2012 at 7:54pm

    You are a blessing! It is so great to have vegan versions of such excellent food! I made this recipe today (AWESOME!) and will be making many more of your dishes (carrot halwa is next!) in the very near future.

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