Our weather has been all over the place. Beautiful high 70’s with clear skies to mid 30’s with chunky wet snow. Typical Colorado spring. We take it in stride getting out when the weather permits and doing a little at home hibernating as we get our last bits of snow. As we embraced this last cold snap of the season I made a simple dal for dinner. I normally make dal in the crockpot but this time I opted for a stovetop version. Dal is such an easy meal. Hearty, delicious, warming, easy to digest, and filling. Many times I use split mung beans but my favorite are split black grams. The final result is a bit creamier and the taste is sweeter. I find mung beans to be delicious too, but a bit more on the bitter side. And also split black grams cook much quicker than split mung beans.
To this batch I added onion, garlic, and frozen spinach. The only spices I used were cumin, salt and pepper. Once the dal was fully cooked I stirred in a can of coconut milk and some fresh lemon juice. The flavor was perfect. Coconut milk adds a nice richness while the lemon juice gives it just a little tang. I surprised myself with how delicious this meal turned out, preferring it over my usual crockpot version. This made enough for Josh and I to enjoy two dinners served with some store bought naan.
Dal with Spinach (makes 4 servings)
- 1.5 cups of urad dal (split black grams)
- 1 heaping cup of frozen chopped spinach
- 1 onion, minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 can coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 6 cups water
- naan to serve
- Thoroughly rinse the split black grams in a sieve.
- Heat up coconut oil over medium high heat in a pot. Once warm add the garlic, onion, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until fragrant and starting to soften.
- Add the split black grams, frozen spinach, and 4.5 cups of water. Once it comes to a boil reduce to a low simmer. Stirring often continue to cook until split black grams are tender, about 1 hour. Add more water as necessary, I used just over 5 cups. You will be adding coconut milk so you don’t want it too watery before this.
- Once beans are soft stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. If needed add more salt, I used about 1/4 teaspoon more.
- Serve with naan.