We love everything green in our house. So if I make anything with spinach, chances are - it’s going to be a hit. This recipe has very humble beginnings but it definitely isn’t lacking in flavour. Packed with nutrition, it’s high in protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Let’s get started already!
1/2 cup Rice
1/4 cup Split & skinned yellow lentils
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 1/2 cup Water
1 bunch Spinach
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Tomato puree
2 cloves Garlic
1 inch Ginger
1 green Chilli (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Coriander
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp clarified Butter / unsalted butter / Olive oil (Vegan option)
You will need a deep pan, a bowl, a blender, a chopping board, a knife, and a wok. In a bowl mix the rice and lentils and wash it a couple of times, until the water runs clear. Soak the rice and lentils for an hour in double the amount of water. In the meantime, let’s prepare the other ingredients. In a deep pan, take 1/4 cup of water and throw in the spinach, cover with a lid and wait for 5 minutes or until the leaves have wilted. Take the contents of the pan and put them in a blender and blend until you end up with a smooth paste.
Grab the chopping board and chop the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander finely. Now add the clarified butter to the wok, and once the butter is hot enough, add the cumin seeds and let them crackle. Throw in the chopped onion and garlic. When the onion and garlic start to get a light golden brown colour, add in the tomato puree. Mix in the salt, the cumin, the coriander powder, the ginger and the chilli and stir constantly for 5–7 minutes. The colour of the mixture will turn a deep orange, and it’s at this point that you can add the spinach paste straight from the blender into the wok. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now take the rice and lentils that have been soaking, drain the water out. In a deep pan take 1 1/2 cup of water and add the turmeric powder, salt and the rice and lentils. Keep the burner on medium heat and let this cook out for about 12 minutes. In the last three minutes cover the pan with a lid and keep it covered even after you turn off the burner. You want the rice and lentils to cook entirely, so if you need to add a little more water or keep it on the burner for a little bit longer please do so.
Add the cooked rice and lentils to the spinach mixture and stir, incorporating all the ingredients throughly; let them boil for 5 mins on medium heat. Finish by adding the chopped fresh coriander and lemon juice. Serve with a bowl of yogurt.
I garnish this dish with some pickled onions. All you need to do for those is slice onions, add salt and lemon juice and keep in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and garnish the rice with a few slices when you are ready to serve. This is an absolutely delicious and nutritious meal, also a great way to get your kids to eat their greens :)
TIP: You could switch out the Split & skinned yellow lentils for pre soaked and cooked black lentils. The mesurement for the lentils will then become 1/2 cup. The procedure remains the same except you don’t have to soak the lentils in water for an hour. Cook the lentils with the rice so that both the ingredients lend flavour to each other.