Spinach chana dhal

Jill Dupleix
Spinach chana dhal.
Spinach chana dhal. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Chana dhal, yellow split pulses or yellow split peas combine with spinach, tomatoes and peas in a very motherly, slow-cooked dish. This is gorgeous topped with caramelised onions.


200g chana dhal, rinsed (Soak the dhal for 30 minutes then drain)

1.2 litres water

500g spinach leaves, well washed

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds

200g potatoes, peeled and diced

200g canned chopped tomatoes

1 large green chilli, sliced

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garam masala

2 tbsp fresh coriander


Bring the dhal and water to the boil in a large saucepan, skimming. Partly cover and simmer gently for 20 mins.

Cook the spinach in very little water, covered, until wilted. Drain, chop roughly and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frypan and cook the onion, ginger and cumin seeds for 5 mins. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, chilli, turmeric, cayenne, coriander and salt, stirring well. Combine with the dhal and simmer for 30 mins or until the potatoes are soft, adding extra water if necessary.

Just before serving, whisk in the garam masala, then add the spinach leaves and simmer for 5 mins. Scatter with coriander and serve with rice.