Green Pea & Spinach Dal with Crispy Paneer

Green Pea & Spinach Dal with Crispy Paneer

by Martin Hill

We love dal and have gathered dal recipes for a different daily dal for a fortnight - and there are countless more variations on this nourishing meal of spiced split pulses. This green pea dal from Martin Hill is the latest addition to our collection; it's rich, indulgent and packed with flavour.

Serves 4


  • 250g Split Green Peas, soaked for 6 hours in water and drained
  • 75g Ginger, peeled
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • ½ Tin of Coconut Milk
  • 2 tins of Water
  • 2 Shallots, finely sliced
  • 250g Paneer, cut into small cubes
  • 5 tbsp Corn Flour
  • Oil for Frying
  • 250g Spinach, washed and roughly chopped


  1. Start by making a paste of the ginger, red chilli and garlic by blending with a splash of water until smooth.
  2. Heat a pan over a low heat and add the ghee, finely diced onion, cumin seeds and black onion seeds. Cook over a low heat until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli puree and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  3. Add the rest of the spices and cook out for a couple of minutes, then add the split peas along with the coconut milk and water. Season well with salt then bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for around 40 mins, stirring often. Add a little more water if needed.
  4. While the split peas are cooking, make the spinach puree. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the spinach until soft. Quickly take the spinach out of the pan and plunge into a bowl of icy water. Put the cooled spinach and a few ice cubes in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  5. Heat a pan with a good measure of oil for frying. Put the cornflour and then the finely sliced shallots in a bowl. Coat the shallots in the cornflour and fry in a couple of batches until crispy and golden brown. Drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Repeat the process with the diced paneer, frying until golden brown.
  6. Add the spinach puree to the cooked split peas, stir well and then turn off the heat. Serve with the delicious split peas in a shallow bowl, topped with the crispy shallots and paneer.

Martin Hill
Martin Hill


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