Chana Dal/Yellow Lentils With Spinach

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On Tuesday I was puppy sitting the lovely Murray again ☺️ After a long walk in freezing fog that literally got right through to your bones, I then got two big pots of lentils cooking on the hob to make some food for my freezer as well as some portions for another lovely friend of mine – I am aiming to nourish all of my friends with healthy, home cooked food!!! (I hasten to add, it is at their request, not just forcing my food on them!!)

This one is a dry curry and my first experience with chana dal…if you like something a little bit smoother or sauce-like, my understanding is that you can cook the lentils a bit longer and stir them up a bit with a whisk to break them down, but I haven’t tried that myself yet..

Ingredients
250g channa dal
water as necessary
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger paste/minced
A big bag of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder depending on the strength of your chilli powder
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
Wash the lentils and leave them to soak – I left them to soak overnight then washed them through again several times!
Drain the lentils and place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them, bring them to a boil and let them simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils have softened (you may have to use additional water to do this).
Cook uncovered to let the cooking liquid evaporate – but be careful not to overcook so that they don’t become mushy.
Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and cinnamon, add and fry the mustard seeds until they sputter, then add the ginger, garlic and chili and fry a further 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until it wilts down.
Stir in the remaining spices and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Finally add the lentils, stir and cook a further 5 minutes then add the tomato purée and stir through.
If you feel that the lentils need more water, add a bit at a time and keep an eye on the consistency and make sure that the lentils don’t break up.

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And just for the heck of it, here’s how Murray is looking, now 8 months old and with a posh new hairdo…such amazing green eyes!!!

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