Spinach Masoor Dal/ Spinach Puy Lentil Curry

January 12, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Spinach Masoor Dal/ Spinach Puy Lentil Curry

Spinach Masoor Dal or Spinch Puy Lentil Curry is a wholesome, healthy, easy to prepare, creamy, with flavors of spinach and coconut. Best enjoyed with some plain rice or any Indian Flatbread.

What is Masoor Dal or Puy Lentil?

Known as whole or sabut masoor, flat lentils or puy lentils they are packed with proteins, dietary fiber and Vitamin B1. The colours of these legumes or lentils range from yellow to orange red  to green or brown and black. They are used for making curries, soups and even salads. Today I will share with you the recipe of spinach masoor dal or curry. Serve it with hot rotis,naan, bread or rice. Masoor or Puy lentils cooks well and quickly making is one of the most used lentils or pulses. I usually soak it for 30 minutes or so in warm water and then put it in the pressure cooker. 2-3 whistles and its done. If you want, just boil it in enough water in a saucepan till done. Puy Lentil also makes a good substitute for minced meat.


Cook It Often

I tend to include Puy lentils in my diet at least once a week.Because its a good source of protein. If its not in the form of a curry then I add it to soups, salads or even in baked dishes.  Sometimes I make Masoor Dal without spinach, and use only coconut milk. Occasionally, I use spinach and tomatoes. Once you have the basic curry dish to your liking, there are so many variations that you can make. Did you know that they also are a good source of iron? Yes they are. Ideal for vegans as they are a rich source of calcium too.


Recipes using Masoor Dal/ Puy Lentils – whole or split

Lentil and Carrot Kebabs – very often minced meat is replaced with Puy lentils in kebabs to make them vegetarian friendly.

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie – minced meat is replaced with cooked lentils. Its a wholesome and delicious meal.

Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup – Meat or chicken is replaced by lentils, adding a creamy texture to this traditional soup

Jolly uses a combination of Moong and Lentil along with rice to make the classic khichdi – Moong Masoor Dal Khichdi.

I’m going to try Archana’s Whole Red Lentil Biryani, wholesome and filling.

Try Renu’s Masoor Dal with a tomato onion curry base.

Ingredients Required for Spinach Masoor Dal/ Spinach Puy Lentil Curry

  • Masoor Dal – Puy Lentils, whole and not the split variety. For easy cooking its best to soak the lentils in warm water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Coconut Milk – I’ve used canned coconut milk. For coconut free curry replace the coconut with water.
  • Onion – white, yellow or red, finely chopped
  • Garlic – finely chopped or minced
  • Ginger – thinly sliced or minced
  • Green Chillis – optional, either sliced or minced
  • Mustard Seeds – rai
  • Cumin Seeds – jeera
  • Asafetida – optional. If you want to prepare a gluten free curry, do not add asafetida or use gluten free asafetida.
  • Spinach Puree – for homemade spinach puree, blanch about 3-4 cups of roughly chopped spinach in hot water. Cool and puree the spinach.
  • Ghee or Oil – depending on what you prefer. For vegan curry omit ghee and replace it any oil of your choice or coconut oil. Ghee is clarified butter.
  • Water – required for soaking and cooking the lentils.
  • Cinnamon Powder – taj
  • Clove Powder – laving
  • Coriander Powder – dhania
  • Turmeric Powder – haldi
  • Salt – add according to your taste
  • Fresh Coriander – chopped for garnishing


Dietary Tips:

For Gluten version of  Spinach Masoor Dal or Curry avoid using asafetida or use gluten free asafetida.

For Vegan version omit using ghee. Replace it with oil.

For Jain friendly Spinach Masoor Dal omit onion, garlic and ginger.

Spinach Masoor Dal without Coconut Milk



Spinach Masoor Dal or Spinch Puy Lentil Curry is a wholesome, healthy, easy to prepare, creamy, with flavors of spinach and coconut. Best enjoyed with some plain rice or any Indian Flatbread.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course dal, Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup whole masoor dal flat lentils, puy
  • 2 cups spinach roughly chopped
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 big onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee clarified butter - optional
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 2 tbsps fresh coriander chopped


  • Wash the lentils and soak it in 2 cups of warm water for about half an hour.
  • If you are using fresh spinach, then you need to blanch it. Put 1 cup of water to boil in a saucepan. Add the spinach to the boiling water and remove it as soon as it begins to wilt. Let it cool for a while in a colander.
  • When the spinach is cool, liquidize it in a blender using as little water as possible.You should have about 1 cup of spinach puree.
  • Put the lentils along with the soaking water to cook over medium flame or in a pressure cooker(3 whistles). Add remaining water. Cook till done. If you are using the pressure cooker, then just use the water the lentils are soaked in. When done, you can add the remaining water.
  • In another saucepan, heat the oil/ghee. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • As soon as the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the chopped onions.Stir the onions and cook till it turns light brown in colour.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and ginger paste. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and mix well. Add the spinach and salt and stir.
  • Add cooked lentils to the above mixture.
  • Add any remaining water and coconut milk. Heat the dal or curry till it becomes hot.
  • Allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander just before serving with some rice or Indian flatbread.


Adjust the amount of water according to your preference. I prefer thick dals and not watery ones.
Amount of salt and chilli entirely depends on your taste.
If you cook the lentils in a saucepan, you may need more water.
Keyword Spinach Masoor Dal, Spinach Puy Lentil Curry

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  • Shobha

    September 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Very healthy combo.. I normally use the split dal..:)

  • My Wife Makes

    September 29, 2015 at 5:33 am

    Amazing dal recipe! Love the step-by-steps photos too – very clear instructions! Definitely keen to try this one. 🙂

  • My Wife Makes

    September 29, 2015 at 5:34 am

    P.S. It's me, Levan! 🙂

  • Choclette Blogger

    September 29, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I am so making this, it sounds wonderful. I love dal, but tend to make it with split red lentils. I have a bag of green lentils in the cupboard and it's autumn so time for warming dishes like this 🙂

  • Shunmuga sundari C

    September 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

    What a Wholesome dish!! Super healthy!!

  • Nayna Kanabar

    September 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I love spinach dhal and this looks great made with puy lentils.

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