Red Lentil and Spinach Dhal

Slow Cook Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal

Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal

I’m always looking at ways to incorporate two of my favourite things, namely pulses and spinach, into tasty easy to cook meals and this Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal ticks all the boxes. You can always find recipes where they are just a background ingredient but here they have the starring role. Unfortunately its not very photogenic as recipes go, but don’t be put off, as my bad photography doesn’t do it justice.

It’s not only easy to make, but most of the ingredients will already be in your store cupboard or fridge. The only one you may struggle with is the dried fenugreek but that’s a purely personal thing as I absolutely love the flavour. Fenugreek can easily be substituted for coriander which is more traditional.

My  Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal recipe super tasty and  nutritious. Its high protein low fat, packed with deliciously earthy spinach making it a great way of grabbing a load of vitamin and iron too. Providing vitamin K, A, C and folate as well as manganese, magnesium, iron and B2 along with a few others, and the good thing is that none of them are destroyed by cooking, in fact cooking allows for higher absorption levels.

I’ve taken a few short cuts such as using pre-mixed curry powder rather than the individual spices so my apologies to any Indian cuisine or dhal purists. I’m not putting this out as an authentic Indian recipe rather more a tasty nutritional meal. I use frozen spinach as its not only so much cheaper than fresh, but I can have it available in the freezer at any time, ready to bring out in handy measures. You’ll find other recipes that can be made in a fraction of the time but believe me the extra time gives so much more flavour and rich intensity; notwithstanding the fact that its also less windy

It’s taken a few attempts to get the recipe to where it is now, and I hope you’ll enjoy making it.

Here’s the stove top version, but you can easily cook it in a slow cooker or casserole in the oven – See additional recipe notes:

Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal

This slow cook Spinach Dhal packs plenty of flavour and is a perfect alternative main for two or side dish for four.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 People


  • 1 Med Onion Halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Med Carrots Peeled, halved and sliced lengthways into small batons
  • 15 g Fresh Ginger Finely Chopped. 15g is around the size of your thumb
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Grated/minced
  • 1 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 Cup Red Lentils Washed & drained
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek
  • 5 Bricks Frozen Spinach
  • 600 ml Vegetable Stock Fresh or made from a stock cube


  • Fry the Onions and Carrots in a little oil for 2-3 minutes until the onions start to soften
    Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal
  • Add the Ginger and Garlic and cook for another minute stirring to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan
    Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal
  • Add the Curry Powder and cook to release the aromatics, followed by the Tomato Puree, stirring all the time to stop it from sticking. It is important to 'cook out' these two ingredients to prevent bitter flavours.
    Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal
  • Pour in the Vegetable Stock, Red Lentils and Fenugreek and stir well. Bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest setting, put a lid on and simmer for 60 minutes.
    Red Lentil & Spinach Dhal
  • Now add the Frozen Spinach and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has gone and you have a good consistency. 
    It's now ready to eat


Great for making in advance but make sure you re-heat to piping hot before serving. Perfect sharing dish.
Slow Cookers
For Slow Cookers or Casserole in the oven: Follow the instructions to combine the ingredients before adding the vegetable stock and lentils but you won't be actually cooking them along the way. Cook in slow cooker for about 6 hours or a low oven for 3-4
Keyword Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

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