Masoor Palak Dal with Curry-Spiced Cheese & Date Chutney

Masoor Palak Dal

with Curry-Spiced Cheese & Date Chutney

30 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Masoor palak dal, a creamy red lentil stew made with spinach, is the perfect, hearty meal for winter. We’re cooking ours with coconut milk and garnishing it with cilantro. We’re also pairing it with a seared farmer’s cheese (which keeps its shape, even in a hot pan) and a warm, sweet side of homemade chutney. Featuring Medjool dates (the luscious fruit of the date palm), the chutney’s tart sweetness perfectly balances the meal’s rich, savory flavors.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    690 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Masoor Palak Dal with Curry-Spiced Cheese & Date Chutney
Title
  • 1 lb Farmer's Cheese
  • 1 cup Red Lentils
  • 1 13.5-Ounce Can Light Coconut Milk
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 2-Inch Piece Ginger
  • 1 large bunch Cilantro
  • 3 Medjool Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Dal Spice Blend (Sweet Paprika, Cumin Seeds, Ground Cardamom, Nigella Seeds & Brown Mustard Seeds)
  • ¼ cup Tamarind Concentrate
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Slice the cheese lengthwise into 8 equal-sized pieces. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Using your hands, remove and discard the pits of the dates; roughly chop the dates. Quarter the lime. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Start the dal:
2 Start the dal:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer half the cooked garlic and ginger to a bowl; set aside. Add the lentils to the pot of remaining garlic, ginger and spice blend. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly toasted. Add 2 cups of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume.

Make the date chutney:
3 Make the date chutney:

While the lentils simmer, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), combine the dates, ½ cup of water, a pinch of the curry powder and the reserved garlic and ginger. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Stir in the tamarind concentrate; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Wash and dry the pan.

Finish the dal:
4 Finish the dal:

Add the spinach to the pot of lentils and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the spinach has wilted. Add the coconut milk (shaking the can before opening). Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. (Be careful not to boil the mixture, as the coconut milk may separate.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cook the cheese:
5 Cook the cheese:

While the dal finishes cooking, pat the cheese dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and the remaining curry powder. In the same pan used to make the date chutney, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned cheese and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and crispy. Transfer to a serving dish.

Serve your dish:
6 Serve your dish:

Garnish the cooked cheese with the lime wedges and ¾ of the cilantro. Garnish the finished dal with the remaining cilantro. Serve the cheese with the date chutney on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Slice the cheese lengthwise into 8 equal-sized pieces. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Using your hands, remove and discard the pits of the dates; roughly chop the dates. Quarter the lime. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Start the dal:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer half the cooked garlic and ginger to a bowl; set aside. Add the lentils to the pot of remaining garlic, ginger and spice blend. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly toasted. Add 2 cups of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume.

Start the dal:
3 Make the date chutney:

While the lentils simmer, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), combine the dates, ½ cup of water, a pinch of the curry powder and the reserved garlic and ginger. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Stir in the tamarind concentrate; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Wash and dry the pan.

4 Finish the dal:

Add the spinach to the pot of lentils and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the spinach has wilted. Add the coconut milk (shaking the can before opening). Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. (Be careful not to boil the mixture, as the coconut milk may separate.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Finish the dal:
Cook the cheese:
5 Cook the cheese:

While the dal finishes cooking, pat the cheese dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and the remaining curry powder. In the same pan used to make the date chutney, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned cheese and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and crispy. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Serve your dish:

Garnish the cooked cheese with the lime wedges and ¾ of the cilantro. Garnish the finished dal with the remaining cilantro. Serve the cheese with the date chutney on the side. Enjoy!

Serve your dish:
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