I try all the time to incorporate leafies into our diet as effortlessly as possible. One of my preferred ways to eat spinach- one of my absolutely favorite veggies- is to add it to a spicy, tangy lentil curry.
The slight bitterness of the spinach is nicely balanced out by sourness of the tamarind, the spiciness of the chilies and the sweet nuttiness of the peanuts. A nice balance of flavors, by Ayurvedic standards.
This is one of those quick, weeknight dishes written on a busy weeknight, so I will keep the introduction brief. Hope you guys enjoy this nutritious, delicious dish.
1 large bunch spinach, washed thoroughly and chopped into thin strips.
3/4 cup pink lentils, or masoor dal, cooked until tender (I pressure cook it or, when I'm short on time, cover it with water and throw it into a microwave oven. It takes 10-15 minutes to cook, depending on your microwave.)
1 small lemon-size ball of tamarind, soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Express the juices into the water by crushing with your fingers and throw away the remaining solids.
3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin.
1 medium onion, sliced
2 green chilies, like serrano, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peanuts, soaked in water for about 30 minutes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander seeds, powdered
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup light coconut milk
Salt to taste
Heat the oil and add mustard. When it sputters, add the onions and fry on a medium frame until translucent.
Add the chilies and garlic and stir for a minute.
Add the coriander and turmeric powders. Stir again until spices are coated with oil.
Add the tamarind extract and let it boil about 2-3 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir in until it wilts. Then add the lentils and drained peanuts.
Stir in some salt.
Bring the lentils to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and let the lentils simmer about 10 minutes for all the flavors to come together.
Stir in coconut milk and immediately turn off the heat. Check the salt and add more if needed.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.