By Nicki Hayes

17th July 2020

Categorised in Quick Food

Recent conversations with carers who have been getting their fresh veg’ delivered through lockdown, have led to several pondering what to do with ingredients they never usually buy, such as spinach leaves.

Here’s a quick and easy Indian inspired recipe, which freezes well. It can be served as a meal on its own ,alongside boiled rice. Or you can serve it as a side dish alongside other Indian dishes.

I tend to batch cook this recipe so that I can keep a few portions in the freezer to add to the offerings whenever I order an Indian takeaway.

Total time and servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 mins

Total time: 30

Serves: 2


½ teaspoon corianders

½ teaspoon  cumin seeds

½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coconut oil (or the oil of your choice)

1 diced white onion

3 crushed cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons dried turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

200g dried red lentils

 1 x 400g tin coconut milk

500ml vegetable stock

To taste, salt and freshly ground pepper

2 handfuls fresh spinach

½ lemon (juice of)

2 tablespoons plain yoghurt (coconut or soya varieties are available)

1 handful fresh coriander leaves


  1. Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse under a running tap until the water runs clear. Give the sieve a good old shake to get rid of as much water as possible. Keep to one side for later.
  2. Heat a large pan (you’ll need a lid later so make sure you have one for your chosen pan) over a medium heat and toast the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds until the mustard seeds start to pop. Tip seeds into a bowl (or food processor) and gently grind.
  3. Add coconut oil (or alternative oil of your choice) into the hot pan. Add diced onions with a pinch of salt and cook gently over a low heat until they start to look translucent.
  4. Put the freshly ground seeds back in the pan with the onions. Add the turmeric and garam masala too. Cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time.
  5. Tip the lentils into the onion spice mix. Stir in the coconut milk and veg stock, stirring all the time.
  6. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes – this allows the dahl to thicken.
  8. Chuck in the spinach, salt and pepper to taste and stir until the spinach wilts.
  9. Squeeze in lemon juice, stir. Serve alongside a portion of boiled rice. Add a swirl of plain yoghurt (I recommend coconut-milk yoghurt if you’re vegan) and sprinkle over the fresh coriander.