I try all the time to incorporate leafies into our diet as effortlessly as possible. One of my preferred ways to eat spinach- one of my absolutely favorite veggies- is to add it to a spicy, tangy lentil curry.
The slight bitterness of the spinach is nicely balanced out by sourness of the tamarind, the spiciness of the chilies and the sweet nuttiness of the peanuts. A nice balance of flavors, by Ayurvedic standards.
This is one of those quick, weeknight dishes written on a busy weeknight, so I will keep the introduction brief. Hope you guys enjoy this nutritious, delicious dish.
- 1 large bunch spinach , washed thoroughly and chopped into thin strips.
- 3/4 cup pink lentils , or masoor dal, cooked until tender (I pressure cook it or, when I'm short on time, cover it with water and throw it into a microwave oven. It takes 10-15 minutes to cook, depending on your microwave.)
- 1 small lemon-size ball of tamarind , soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Express the juices into the water by crushing with your fingers and throw away the remaining solids.
- 3-4 cloves of garlic , sliced thin.
- 1 medium onion , sliced
- 2 green chilies , like serrano, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup peanuts , soaked in water for about 30 minutes
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds , powdered
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil and add mustard. When it sputters, add the onions and fry on a medium frame until translucent.
- Add the chilies and garlic and stir for a minute.
- Add the coriander and turmeric powders. Stir again until spices are coated with oil.
- Add the tamarind extract and let it boil about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir in until it wilts. Then add the lentils and drained peanuts.
- Stir in some salt.
- Bring the lentils to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and let the lentils simmer about 10 minutes for all the flavors to come together.
- Stir in coconut milk and immediately turn off the heat. Check the salt and add more if needed.
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.
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