One-pot potato, spinach and lentil dal

Made with dry red football lentils, ripe tomatoes, small tender potatoes and lots of fresh spinach leaves, this fragrant dal is a healthy, simple meal in one pot. Once your potatoes have been partially cooked in the microwave for 2 minutes and your ingredients are measured and ready to go, it can be made in 25 minutes.

For that warm, spicy curried flavour, I add my own yellow curry paste that I keep stored in my freezer. If you don’t have homemade paste, a good quality store-bought kind is the next best thing.

Yellow curry paste

To make it creamy, but still healthy, I add half a cup of low fat coconut milk. I prefer a dal that isn’t overpowered with coconut milk or cream. If you prefer a creamier dal, you can add, or substitute with, a few tablespoons of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk or another thickener of choice.

One-pot potato, spinach and lentil dal
Potato spinach lentil dal
Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 small-size new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 cup red football lentils
  • 3 tablespoons yellow curry paste, homemade or store-bought
  • ½ cup coconut milk, fat reduced kind
  • 1½ to 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped ripe red tomatoes with their juices, (use canned if tomatoes are not ripe)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves (tightly packed)


Rinse, pat dry potatoes and make a few small slits in each one with the point of a knife. Wrap them up together in white paper towel making sure that they are evenly dispersed and not one on top of the other. Make a pack by tucking the paper towel underneath the potatoes and heat in microwave for 2 minutes on high until they are partially cooked. You can also make 2 packs and heat them up individually. When done, remove paper towel and let the potatoes cool for five minutes. Slice them in half or in thirds for bigger ones. Set aside.

Heat up the oil in a non-stick casserole or pot. Add the partially cooked potatoes and toss them for 2 minutes. Add the lentils and curry paste and toss with the potatoes for another 3 minutes. Add a bit of water to prevent sticking.

Add the water, coconut milk, tomatoes and salt. Fold and mix and simmer on low heat uncovered for 15 minutes, mixing from time to time. Add a bit more water if you prefer less thick or more coconut milk/cream for thicker.

Add the spinach leaves in handful batches and cook for another 5 minutes uncovered or until all the leaves have wilted.

Remove from heat and serve immediately with Naan bread.

Store leftovers in fridge in sealed container.

Red football lentils

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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