21 October 2010

Spinach & Lentil Curry, Revisited

The first time I told you about this curry was in February.  Probably, no one even saw the post - the pictures were crap and I was kinda brand new to blogging.

I made it a little bit differently this time (but not much) and paid closer attention to the amounts of ingredients I used.  Instead of using shallots as a garnish, I opted this time for a sprinkling of cinnamon over the yogurt.  The warm scent of the spices seemed to really want me to add cinnamon.  It was a good call.

So, here we go again with this recipe, with more accurate measurements and prettier pictures.  Yay.

Spinach & Lentil Curry, Take Two

  • ~1 cup french green lentils
  • ~1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 tea ground ginger
  • 2 tea harissa paste (or chilli of your choice)
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or puree'd tomatoes
  • 100g baby spinach leaves, stems removed, roughly chopped.
  • 1/2 tea sea salt 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic (~2 tea garlic paste)
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • greek yogurt, ground cinnamon & toast points, for serving

Place the lentils, ginger, harissa and turmeric in a pan, and add enough water to cover the lentils 2x.  Bring to a boil, then simmer over a moderate heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a further 20-ish minutes.  Add bulgur and continue simmering until lentils are cooked through but not over-done - they should still give a little *pop* when you bite into them.  ((Add water as needed, both the lentils and the bulgur will absorb a LOT of it, keep adding it a bit at a time to avoid a soupy consistency in the end.))  Add salt and set aside.

Heat the butter in a small pan. Add the cumin and garlic and allow the mixture to become fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the coriander powder and garam masala, mix well, then pour the mixture into the pan of lentils.  Give the mixture a taste and add more salt if you need it.

Add spinach and stir to incorporate.  As you stir, the residual heat from the lentil mixture will wilt the spinach.  Use a little extra heat from the hob if the spinach doesn't wilt.

Serve hot with a big dollop of greek yogurt and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.

Serve with toast points or warm naan bread.


  1. I just ran across your blog, which is lovely. What is your science? I, too, am a scientist who loves to cook and take pictures of food. :) And, I cook only vegan - so your lovely dishes will be easy to adapt.

  2. Hi Lisa! Thanks for commenting, it means a lot to know people are stopping by and taking the time to say hello. :) I do evolutionary psychology (known to some as human behavioural ecology). What science do you do?

  3. Cardiovascular physiologist here....great blog!

  4. I am a "computer scientist" but I honestly thing the "science" is in there to make us feel more important about what we do :). Will try the recipe sometime!

  5. Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! It's a great recipe for a healthy but satisfying dinner. Definitely a keeper.

  6. Finally made this, it has been on my fridge since I printed it in October LOL chalk it up to lack of having all the right ingredients. Sooo good and filling, the BF ate way too much cause he liked it so much heh. The tarka (the butter part) is perfect mix of flavours. I didn't have harissa, so I used fresh chilis and extra fresh garlic mixed in with the tomato paste. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I would first off suggest what brand of curry paste one would be using. Asian curry's (red, green, yellow) may be different strength with their labels but so are the brand names, I would be wise into putting bit by bit in, do not do the recommended suggestions here. It will burn your bum bum.

    1. Hi Leo, thanks for the comment but there is no curry paste in this recipe - it's an indian curry, not an asian curry.

  8. A wonderful recipe! I've been trying to eat healthier and was searching the web for recipes using lentils, spinach, and butternut squash, since I think those are very healthy. And what do I find but your blog!! Thank you so much. I'm also trying to really cut down on salt and it's so hard to find recipes that work without salt. This recipe is one of them. Next I'm going to try some of your butternut squash creations.