Monsoon Coast

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


1 – Toast coconut in a small dry pan over low heat and reserve for garnish.
2 – Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.
3 – When the butter stops foaming, add the Bengali Panch Phoron and sauté until the seeds to start to pop a bit.
4 – Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown, about 10 minutes.
5 – Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute.
6 – Add stock or water and lentils, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to prevent the lentils from sticking.
7 – Add the potatoes and simmer until the lentils break down, adding more water if necessary.
8 – Add Delhi Chat Masala or Punjabi Garam Masala and spinach, stirring for a few minutes until the spinach melts.
9 – 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.)
10 – Serve garnished with toasted coconut and chopped cilantro.

Makes a very large pot