Yellow lentils with spinach and ginger

Dietician's Tip

Lentils are a staple in the cooking of southern India. If you can't find yellow lentils, you can substitute yellow split peas.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup yellow lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped, or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For garnish:

  • 1 teaspoon white or black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the lentils, stock and coconut milk. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. The mixture should be brothy; add a little water if needed.

While the lentils simmer, toast the sesame seeds. Place the sesame seeds in a small, dry saute pan over medium heat. Cook briefly, shaking the pan often and watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove the seeds from the pan as soon as they begin to turn brown. Set aside.

Stir the spinach into the lentils, cover and simmer for about 3 minutes longer. The lentils should still hold their shape.

Uncover and stir in the salt. Garnish with the cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

Serving Information

Serves 4

Nutritional analysis per serving

Calories: 263
Total carbohydrate: 36 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Dietary fiber: 16 g
Monounsaturated fat: 3 g
Protein: 14 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Serving size: About 3/4 cup
Sodium: 348 mg
Total fat: 7 g

DASH Eating Plan Servings

Fats and oils: 1
Nuts, seeds and dry beans: 2
Vegetables: 1

Diabetes Meal Plan Choices

Fats: 1
Meat and meat substitutes: 1
Nonstarchy vegetables: 1
Starches: 2

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Servings

Fats: 1
Protein and dairy: 1 1/2
Vegetables: 2

Last Updated Sep 15, 2018

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