Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach (Dal Aloo Palak Makhani) – Gluten-free and Vegan

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Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach (Dal Aloo Palak Makhani) - Gluten-free and Vegan

Oh my gosh do I love Indian food. The unique flavors and spices are unlike any other cuisine and they instantly make me so happy. Although Indian food may be intimidating to some, I find that once you experiment and learn some of the foundational spices used, you can really very easily make many of your favorite dishes at home.

Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach (Dal Aloo Palak Makhani) - Gluten-free and Vegan

This particular classic Indian dish is one of my favorites when I order at restaurants and although it is traditionally a butter based tomato sauce with heavy cream, most places will substitute the coconut milk for the cream and leave out the butter,  if you are dairy-free or vegan. The name Makhani isn’t exactly accurate without the butter, since Makhan literally means butter and we are leaving it out here, but for the sake of being an alternative to the traditional recipe, I kept the name the same. I personally think it is just as good this way, if not better.

This creamy aromatic tomato sauce is great as is, it is amazing over basmati, jasmine or brown rice or you could even try it over cauliflower rice, if you are grain-free.  I do think if I made this again, I may add a bit more coconut milk to make it even creamier, but it really is delicious just as it is.

What is your favorite Indian dish?

Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach (Dal Aloo Palak Makhani) - Gluten-free and Vegan

[print_this]Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach (Dal Aloo Palak Makhani) – Gluten-free and Vegan
serves 4-6

3 tablespoons ghee, olive oil or coconut oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1- inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
14 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 lb organic potatoes, cubed ( I left the peel on, but you can peel if you’d prefer)
2 cups cooked lentils
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup, coconut milk (traditionally heavy cream is used)
3 tbsp butter or ghee, optional but obviously not vegan

Top with fresh cilantro

In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook the cumin seeds until they just start to brown and dance around in the pan, about 1 minute. Add the ginger, garlic, and onion. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt, tomatoes and water. Give it all a good stir to combine, add the potatoes. Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until the potatoes are barely tender. Add the lentils and cook another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

Just before serving add the baby spinach and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Stir to incorporate the coconut milk and allow the sauce to simmer a few minutes to wilt the spinach. If you are adding butter, add just before serving.

Serve over rice and top with fresh cilantro.[/print_this]

14 Responses

  1. Archena says:

    Nice Indian Recipe – Beth!

  2. Julie says:

    This looks delicious! What kind of lentils do you suggest using and how long should they cook for? – separate from the cooking time listed above. Thank you!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Julie. Any lentil would work but I used green. Like most beans, I am sure everyone has their way of cooking them. Also like other beans, the cooking time can vary by age and variety, follow the directions on the package for basic cooking. I generally go with one cup lentils to three cups water or broth. Bring to a boil, turn it down to simmer and leave uncovered. Cook for 30 or 40 minutes until they are tender, adding more water if necessary.

  3. Monica Bogue says:

    I made this tonight for meatless monday. Great flavors! Yummy! My husband loved it too.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Erica says:

    This was delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  5. […] Tasty Yummies shared Lentil Mahkani with Potatoes and Spinach […]

  6. Marilyn says:

    This recipe is sooooo good! I’ll do it again and again! Thanks a lot!

  7. Tanya Forsyth says:

    Hello Beth, I have been following your blog for a while, but never posted! I made this recipe last night, and it was fantastic, and so easy. I used 1/2 sweet potato, and added a scoop of greek yogurt on top for extra creaminess. Thanks for your healthy inspiration, and keep the great recipes coming!

  8. Cassandra says:

    Loved this recipe! We ate it last night and I had to have a second serve it was so delicious. This is the second recipe I’ve made of yours Beth (the first was the veggie socca) and both are winners, sooooo yum. Excited to have recently discovered your site.

  9. […] about Indian food and want to start making more at home with this gluten-free/dairy-free version of Lentil Makhani with Potatoes and Spinach from Tasty Yummies – Cauliflower shines again, this time in a vegan alfredo sauce: Cauli-power […]

  10. Joy says:

    BETH!!!! This was amazing. I am so happy.

  11. Kelly says:

    This was the best Indian I’ve ever made! Seriously perfect. I used coconut cream instead of coconut milk and used some fresh tomatoes and half a can of tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes. I also stirred in 1 Tbsp brown sugar with the coconut cream. My husband and I were both super impressed!

  12. Mike says:

    I’m pretty new to the vegetarian lifestyle. I’ve made a few different recipes from your blog and all were delicious but this one was by far my favorite. I’m a huge Indian food fanatic and the transition to not having meat in my dishes has been tough but this definitely hit the spot. Kudos!

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