Indian Spiced Spinach with Chana Dahl – Slow cooker Friday

2013-11-21 14.09.19

One of my friends talked about Palak Paneer (Indian Spinach with Paneer Cheese) the other day and ever since that day I have been eyeing my overload of spinach, sitting sadly on the refrigerator shelf, slowly inching towards less crisp each day, thinking of ways to use it up before, you know, it’ too late. Since I have not had a whole lotta time to devote to thoughtful meals as of late, I needed something super easy that did not require standing at the stove. And yes, you guessed it, my little slow cooker would be just the thing to use. It’s become sort of a staple tool around here…

So I adapted the idea since I had no paneer cheese, but had chana dahl. (←that’s basically a small variety of chickpeas, that comes peeled and split) And lots of spinach. You may want to serve it with rice… And feel free to use 2 more cups of spinach, add by the cup full, stir add more. I used about 4 cups, as that is what I had, but boy does it cook down…

Spice mix with chana dalAnd here is the spice mix with the dahl, ready to cook away!

Spiced Indian Spinach with Chana Dal…and right after cooking the spinach


  • 1 lg clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera (black cumin) whole
  • 1″ pc of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seed (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 cup Chana Dahl
  • 4-5 cups spinach, sliced and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

 2013-11-21 14.09.29and ready to eat (see how the spinach is almost gone?)


  1. Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan, add the mustard seeds, jeera  and the garlic. Cook until you hear a popping sound (yes kinda like popcorn, but smaller). Remove from heat.
  2. Place rinsed Chana Dahl, and ginger through ground cumin into a slow cooker insert.
  3. Add the fried spices and 3-4 cups of water.
  4. Turn slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for about 6 to cook the dal. (this can vary depending on your slow cooker and the age/dryness of your dal)
  5. When Chana Dahl is soft, (Easily squashable with the back of a spoon) chop the spinach and add to the insert by the hand full, stir after each addition to get the spinach moistened and moved into the heat. It may look like there is way to much spinach, but trust me, it will almost disappear before your done. When in doubt, add more.
  6. Add salt, stir again, cover, turn to low and let simmer for another 1/2 hour or until spinach is nice and cooked.
  7. Serve with Basmati rice.

2013-11-21 14.10.10Sadly, the color kinda fades with cooking… but it is amazingly flavorful and super easy!

Spiced Indian Spinach with Chana Dal

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This entry was posted in Bootcamp approved, corn free, dinners & main meal, frugal, gluten free, quick & easy, vegan and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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