Mung Dhal Curry

Split Green gram with spinach and tomato

Mung dhal (split green gram) is a good source of protein, B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. They have low glycemic index. Spinach is an excellent plant based source of iron. It also contains many different phytonutrients which have anti-inflammatory properties. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

  1. In a large saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add dhal, turmeric and 1 teaspoon oil. Bring back to boil, then reduce heat and cook partially covered for 20-30 minutes until soft. 

  2. Meanwhile in another saucepan heat 3 teaspoons of oil and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop, add curry leaves and red chillies, fry until chillies begin to brown. Add onion, garlic and green chillies, sauté until onion is soft. Add spinach, cook until leaves wilt. Stir in tomato and salt. 

  3. Add this mixture to cooked dhal, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in coconut, lemon juice and coriander leaves. Turn off heat.

Serve with Indian flatbreads or wholemeal Lebanese bread.

Tips and variations: 

  • 2 cups of any colourful chopped vegetables can be substituted for spinach. 

  • Recipe is suitable for freezing and can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Per serve: energy 808 kJ (193 cal); protein 10 g; fat 6 g; saturated fat 1 g; cholesterol 0 mg; carbohydrate 23 g; fibre 9 g; calcium 70 mg; iron 3.4 mg; sodium 319 mg

Serves 4


½ cup mung dhal (split green gram), washed

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil + 3 teaspoons


1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

10 curry leaves, chopped (optional)

2 dry red chillies, each broken into 2 pieces 

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed 

1-2 green chillies, chopped

1 large bunch spinach, trimmed and chopped 

1 tomato, chopped

½ teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon grated fresh coconut (optional)

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves