Spinach Lentil Gravy (Soppina Saaru)

This is a dish that brings back nostalgic memories for my husband as it was something he grew up eating in his childhood. Spinach rich in iron and lentils rich in protein when cooked together with spices and eaten with Finger millet balls is just perfect. The 'Notes' following the recipe below has the link to the Finger Millet Balls (a.k.a Ragi Mudde) recipe.

AsafoetidaA Pinch
Channa Dal1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilies1
Fresh Fenugreek Leaves1.5 cups
Green Chilies2
Jaggery1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds1/2 tsp
Oil1 tbsp
Onion1 large
Tamarind1 small lemon sized ball 
Tomatoes1 Medium
Toor Dal1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder1/4 tsp
SaltTo taste
Sambhar powder1/2 tsp
Urad Dal1/2 tsp
Water4 cups

Method : 
  1. Cook the dal: Rinse the Toor dal and cook it in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and 1 to 2 cups of water.
  2. Prep the Vegetables: Wash and chop the fenugreek leaves. Chop the onion and tomatoes. Slit the green chilies and break the red chilies. 
  3. Prep the tamarind: Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. Then squeeze it and remove the solids. Keep only the tamarind water aside,
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, channa dal and urad dal and let the mustard pop. Now add the green chilies, red chilies and hing and mix for 10 seconds. Then add onion and fry until onion turns pink and gets cooked. Then add the tomatoes and saute for 2 mins after which add the chopped fenugreek leaves and saute for around 5 minutes. Sprinkle little water and cover with a lid. Let the leaves cook. When they start wilting, add cooked toor dal, tamarind water, salt, sambhar powder, jaggery and the remaining water and mix. Let the mixture boil and then simmer for 10 minutes in a medium or low flame. 
  5. The dal is ready to serve.

  1. Serve hot with rice, roti or finger millet balls (Ragi Mudde)
  2. Dal can also be drunk as Lentil soup on its own without any accompaniments or can be enjoyed with bread or rice.
  3. If you don't have fresh fenugreek leaves use frozen one but do not use dry methi. 


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