Chana Dal with Spinach
Welcome to April Group A edition of the Secret Recipe Club! This month I got to go Down Under, as I was partnered with the incredible Claire of My Hobbie Lobbie. Seems rather fitting to get an Australian blog when just a week ago my littlest sister moved to Australia, tho she is currently in Melbourne while Claire is in Sydney. Claire’s blog is stuffed with delicious Indian treats along with more traditional fare, but my stomach only had eyes for the Indian goodies. Palak Paneer, Aloo Bhaji, Chana Dal with Spinach, the list just goes on and on and on! In the end it was the story that went with the Chana Dal, as I loved the idea of taking a bland mash and turning it back in to the incredible dish that her husband remembered his mom making. I wasn’t able to find ghee, so instead I used some brown butter – otherwise recipe is actually as Claire wrote it (converted to US measurements).
1 cup Chana dal
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp brown butter (or ghee)
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 fresh curry leaves
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 cups baby spinach, torn
Salt, to taste
- Wash the chana dal a couple of times in water and drain then soak the chana dal for about an hour and drain.
- Boil the chana dal in 3 cups of water and a tsp of salt. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cook the dal until al dente - you DO NOT want a mush!
- Drain and reserve some of the liquids.
- Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat and add the curry leaves, garlic and cumin.
- Once the cumin sputters, add the ginger, chilli and turmeric and stir to mix well, cook for one minute then add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook for a 3-5 minutes or until the tomato has broken down a bit.
- Add the baby spinach and stir until just wilted.
- Add the drained chana dal and stir through, adding a tbsp or two of the reserved liquid, if you think it is too dry. Slowly add the liquid as the dish is meant to be dry and not soupy.
- Check the seasoning and Serve hot!
Chana Dal might also be advertised as split chickpeas if you are shopping in the bulk section.
This dish was fantastic! I have a feeling it could also be converted to a slow cooker or done in parts in order to speed up the beginning with the chana dal. Regardless, the taste was incredible and was very well received! Another SRC success that leaves me counting down the days til the May reveal.