Bengali Spinach Dal


One of Monsoon Coast founder’s favourite dals, great with rice or with chapatis to scoop.


⅔ cup desiccated unsweetened coconut

1 TBL vegetable oil

2 TBL butter

2 TBL Bengali Panch Phoron

2 medium onions, chopped

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBL ginger, minced

1 TBL turmeric

7 cups stock water

3 cups red lentils, rinsed well and drained

2 cups russet potatoes, cut into small cubes

2 TBL Delhi Chat Masala or Punjabi Garam Masala

2 bunches spinach, washed and coarsely chopped

Salt to taste

Chopped cilantro for garnish



Toast coconut in a small dry pan over low heat and reserve for garnish.


Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.


When the butter stops foaming, add the Bengali Panch Phoron and sauté until the seeds to start to pop a bit.


Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown, about 10 minutes.


Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute.


Add stock or water and lentils, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to prevent the lentils from sticking.


Add the potatoes and simmer until the lentils break down, adding more water if necessary.


Add Delhi Chat Masala or Punjabi Garam Masala and spinach, stirring for a few minutes until the spinach melts.


Taste and add salt as required. (Note Delhi Chat Masala contains black salt so if you are using it you may not need to add more salt.)


Serve garnished with toasted coconut and chopped cilantro.

Makes a very large pot