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Mung Dhal with Spinach

quick meals, fast feeds
1 spoon difficulty rating

40 minutes


Mung Dhal with Spinach

Mung (or moong) dhal are tiny, yellow split lentils that make this dish very velvety in texture. They are available from Asian stores and good delis, otherwise the usual red lentils will do just fine. You can make this dish with young nettle tops in the spring time or Swiss chard or kale at other times of the year.




  • 225g/8oz mung dhal OR red lentils
  • 750ml/1pt 7fl oz water
  • 1-2tbsp plain vegetable oil
  • 1tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½tsp ground turmeric
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • ¼tsp asafoetida OR ground fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (peel with a teaspoon before grating)
  • ½ a medium green chilli, de-seeded and chopped (use ¼ tsp chilli powder if you are particularly sensitive to hot food)
  • 100g/3½ oz shredded spinach, OR young nettle leaves OR shredded Swiss chard
  • 1-2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


1. Wash the dhal in a sieve with cold running water.

2. Put into a heavy-based saucepan, pour in the water and bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat then simmer for 20-30 mins.

4. Heat the oil in a large pan.

5. Meanwhile, add the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin, asafoetida or fennel seeds, ginger and chilli. Saute for 2-3 mins then add to the dhal.

6. A few mins before the dhal is ready, stir in the nettles and lemon juice.

7. Cook for a further 2 mins. Check taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot.

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