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Sri Lankan Dhal(red lentil)spinach curry

A creamy spinach dhal recipe cooked Sri Lankan style.

Dhal and spinach is another popular quick vegetarian curry you can try for a healthier meal plan.

Cooked using red lentil, a few tempering ingredients, spinach and coconut milk, this creamy spinach and dal curry makes a perfect budget-friendly side dish for your meals.

With just 20 minutes, you can serve this spinach and dal curry over a bowl of rice and poppadams for a quick and simple meatless meal.

A Dhal/lentil dish is the most basic of curries that everyone learns to cook early on.

It’s a quick, time-saving, versatile dish that can be served at any meal.

I probably cook a Dhal curry 2 to 3 times a week, not only for my kids but because I crave it so much that given the chance, I’ll cook the dhal spinach curry every day.

But since there are a few who’ll probably be vocal of having to eat the dish daily, I have to scale it back and do a few variations just to keep it fresh.

If you are like me then here are a few different ways you can add variations to the dish.

How to add variety to your everyday dhal curry.

You can do this by adding various root vegetables into the dhal curry that will compliment the dish.

such as,

1/ Diced Carrots that add texture to the smooth and creamy dish.

2/ add a few cubed Cucumbers.

3/ Potatoes are a great add-on as well.

And then I make this Spinach and dhal curry in which I completely reduce the coconut milk gravy.

I add more than the usual amount of chilli fleck followed by spinach leaves so they wilt with the remaining heat.
Love it!

Just like the Carrot and Bean(image above) curry, this dish is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens.

A word of caution though, if you are serving younger kids make sure to choose baby spinach so they can consume the leaves easily.

for this recipe, I’ve used large Spinach leaves that were a problem for my youngest to handle but easier for the older ones.

Growing your own Spinach, can you?

I’m no gardener, in fact, everything I plant tends to sadly die but I can tell you without a doubt that Spinach is easy to grow.

I have a large garden and there have been times just a stalk that I’ve thrown takes root and grows along the ground, they just need to get their long vines attached to something solid and they grow fast.

So next time you buy your Spinach from the local farmers market, see if you can get them with the stalk and try growing them in your garden.

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A creamy spinach dhal recipe cooked Sri Lankan style.  Dhal and spinach is another popular quick vegetarian curry you can try for a healthier meal plan.

Utensils and appliances used.

Chopping board and knife
Bowl.
Skillet or frying pan.

Can I use frozen spinach to make the vegetarian/vegan dish?

Yes, you can use frozen spinach.

More recipes with spinach.

Spinach coconut salad(mallum)

Healthy sauteed spinach stir fry

Spinach and garlic coconut milk curry.

Storing- once the Spinach and dhal curry is cooled, store in glass or plastic containers. best consumed withing 24 hours. refrigerate any left overs and consume within 2 day.

Freezing-avoid freezing as the texture of spinach and dhal will be affected.

Reheating– can be microwaved for 2-3 minutes but cover to avoid splatter. heat over low-medium fire.

Stop food waste by– this spinach and dhal curry goes along way so cook only as much as you need.

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -EASY

Sri Lankan dhal curry Spinach (tempered)

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

To cook the dhal

1 cup red lentils

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup water

For tempering

3-4 tablespoons of Oil

A handful of Curry leaves

3 garlic cloves finely sliced

1 large Onion finely sliced

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1 teaspoon of chilli flecks

1 cup of coconut milk

Bundle of Spinach washed and leaves picked.

Method

Rinse the Dhal/ lentil(1 cup), strain. add them to a medium-sized pan, pour in the water(1 cup), add turmeric powder(1/4 tsp) and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Cook the dhal until they turn soft 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Place a small skillet or frying pan over medium heat.

Pour in the oil(3-4 tbsp), add the curry leaves(a sprig), followed by garlic(3 cloves), onions(1), turmeric powder(1/4 tsp) and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the Onions turn golden brown. 5 minutes.

Include the Mustard seed(1 tsp) and chilli flecks(1 tsp), sauté further until the mustard seeds splutter make sure the chilli fleck doesn’t burn. 1-2 minutes.

Transfer the cooked tempering onto the cooked red lentil(dhal).

Pour in the coconut milk(1 cup)and cook on low-medium fire for 7-10 minutes.

Stir to make sure the ingredients are mixed together taste and season with salt as needed.

Add the spinach leaves and cook until they wilt, 3 minutes over medium heat.

Remove spinach dal pan from fire and serve warm.

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spinach and dal curry cooked in a pan.

Sri Lankan Dhal(red lentil)spinach curry

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A creamy spinach dhal recipe cooked Sri Lankan style.

Dhal and spinach is another popular quick vegetarian curry you can try for a healthier meal plan.

Ingredients

  • To cook the dhal
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • For tempering
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Oil
  • A handful of Curry leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 1 large Onion finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flecks
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Bundle of Spinach washed and leaves picked.

Instructions

Rinse the Dhal/ lentil(1 cup), strain. add them to a medium-sized pan, pour in the water(1 cup), add turmeric powder(1/4 tsp) and bring to a boil over medium heat

Cook the dhal until they turn soft 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Place a small skillet or frying pan over medium heat.

Pour in the oil(3-4 tbsp), add the curry leaves(a sprig), followed by garlic(3 cloves), onions(1), turmeric powder(1/4 tsp) and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the Onions turn golden brown. 5 minutes.

Include the Mustard seed(1 tsp) and chilli flecks(1 tsp), sauté further until the mustard seeds splutter make sure the chilli fleck doesn’t burn. 1-2 minutes.

Transfer the cooked tempering onto the cooked red lentil(dhal).

Pour in the coconut milk(1 cup)and cook on low-medium fire for 7-10 minutes.

Stir to make sure the ingredients are mixed together taste and season with salt as needed.

Add the spinach leaves and cook until they wilt, 3 minutes over medium heat.

Remove spinach dal pan from fire and serve warm.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

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Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

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Sabena

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Made this today for the family . It taste amazing . I come from a Malaysian family we cook a lot of dhal too Although very different. You're recipe is gorgeous.

jehan

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Hi Sabena, Thank you and glad you enjoyed the recipe. curious to know how Malaysian dhal tastes like. Regards, J

Mimi

Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Thank you for the recipe. I made this tonight for my partner's family (they are Sri Lankan). I think it tastes amazing. Hopefully they will enjoy it too :)

jehan

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

Hi Mimi, You are most welcome. glad you enjoyed the dhal and spinach curry. hope they loved it!

Danielle

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

You dont have coconut milk specified in the ingredients, but in method!

jehan

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

Thank you Danielle! Will edit the recipe ASAP.

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