- 3 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil, but ghee will elevate)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped (or 1 serrano) this is mildly spicy, add more if you like.
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 lb BABY spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 20 fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tablespoons water (if using fresh spinach)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or vegan yogurt)
- 3 –4 cups cooked black lentils (or aka caviar lentils, beluga lentils or French green lentils) about 1 1/2 cups dry lentils.
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste!
- If cooking black lentils and basmati rice, start them first (see notes)
- Make the Spinach Sauce: Sautee the onion in ghee, in a large pan, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then add garlic, ginger and chilies. Saute until fragrant and golden. Add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and garam masala and stir two minutes. Lower heat to low. Add the fresh spinach, fresh mint, fenugreek and 2 tablespoons water. Cover pan, 2-3 minutes, letting spinach wilt. Give a few stirs. Don’t overcook!
- Blend Spinach Sauce: Place the wilted spinach mixture in a blender and add the 3/4 cups of water. Pulse and few times (hold the lid down tight). If you want a smooth sauce, blend until smooth. I left a little texture here. Pour it back into the pan, set on low heat. Don’t overheat or you will lose the pretty color.
- Combine: Stir in the yogurt, lentils and salt. Taste. Adjust salt to your liking, adding more if necessary! You want this slightly more salty because you are serving over rice which will mellow it out a lot. For more heat add a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes. To “up” the flavor even more, add a bit more garam masala spice to taste. If you want a little acidity a tiny squeeze of lemon is nice.
- Serve with the basmati rice and naan bread!
- Emerald Dal will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
Cook black lentils according to package or try the pasta cooking method: simply boil 1 1/4 cups dry lentils in 6 cups of salted water until just tender, strain. The size of lentil will determine cooking time. Little black lentils take 20-30 minutes. Feel free to sub other whole lentils for the black lentils.
SPINACH: If using fresh spinach, be sure to use baby spinach, as mature spinach and their stems can be bitter.
Feel free to bump up the spices and heat (add more chilies and spices).
- Serving Size: 1 ¼ cup
- Calories: 360
- Sugar: 5.1 g
- Sodium: 694.7 mg
- Fat: 9.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 49.7 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 22.3 g
- Cholesterol: 19.9 mg
Keywords: lentil dal, black lentil dal, Indian dal recipe, dal with spinach, saag dal, saag dal recipe, spinach dal, lentil dahl