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Dal with Spinach

Dal with Spinach

We know Indian cuisine is underrepresented here at, so I'm going to be working on changing that. The recipe that will crack the seal is my very own version of dal with spinach. It has all the flavour of the original dish but with a vegan twist. 

We really like Indian cuisine, unfortunately, a lot of their food is cooked with ghee. This can be particularly tricky when you eat out. You might think you are eating a vegan meal when in reality it is only vegetarian. Fortunately, a lot of places will accommodate and have vegan options. 

Since we like to have options and cooking at home sometimes it is the best option, I've been working on converting a bunch of recipes to have them available. That way, whenever you crave the heartwarming flavours of Indian cousins you'll be sorted out with all the good stuff. 

Dal with Spinach ingredients

Dal with spinach has to be one of the popular dishes you'll find in any Indian restaurant. It's known all over the world and a staple in a lot of Indian homes. You might have seen it as dal paalak, though. 

The word dal refers to a dish made from spiced legumes, think lentils, beans or peas. And paalak is the Hindi word for spinach. This combo plus the rest of the ingredients and spices, is an absolute truckload of nutrition! A bowl of dal with spinach is heartwarming, nutritious, and incredibly healing. 

We are using yellow lentils for this dal with spinach recipe. This variety cooks a bit faster than the rest. It also adds a bit of consistency to your meal, it is great for soups, stews and of course, dal! The flavour is also a bit different, you can experiment with the other kinds but I always recommend using yellow lentils when making dal with spinach. 

chopped onion and garlic

Lentils will enrich your meal in so many ways. In this case, not only will it add a thicker consistency to the stew, it also adds a long list of benefits to your diet. Here are a few things lentils are good for:

  • Weight loss 
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthy heart
  • Cancer management
  • Diabetes control 
  • Prevent anemia 
  • Muscle generation
  • Boosts metabolism

Lentils in general are also a great source of plant-based protein and fibre. They make your meal really filling but you won't feel heavy and slow after a big bowl of dal with spinach. 

washed yellow dal and spinach

Lentils mixed with spinach doesn't seem like a big deal. But Indian spices come to the rescue and they'll make some magic in your kitchens. In the list, you will see cinnamon, garam masala, cardamon, coriander, cumin lemon grass, anise and turmeric powder. You can only imagine what your kitchen will smell like after throwing all these spices in the pot! 

This dal with spinach is very aromatic and incredibly flavourful. The trick here is to leave everything to simmer for about 20 minutes. All the beautiful flavours of Indian spices will infuse your food. Serve the dal alongside brown rice and get ready to be transported!

Dal with Spinach single

Prep time
10 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4
Allergens: Cilantro, Tomatoes


For the dal

  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 lb spinach (cleaned and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 medium tomato (diced)
  • 1 cup yellow dal (washed)

For the spices

  • 1 stick cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp dried lemon grass powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp green cardamon pods (cracked)
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsps star anise
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

For the rice

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups water


  1. Cook the rice until soft in water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat up the oil in a pot and sautee onion, garlic and ginger until aromatic for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and stir fry them for about 1-3 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the spinach and salt and let is simmer for about 20 minutes until the dal is soft.
  5. Add salt and spinach, adjust taste and stir until the spinach is withered.
  6. Serve the dal alongside the cooked rice, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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