Red Lentils and Spinach in Masala Sauce

Masala Paste:

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into pieces

1/8 to 3 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp peanut oil

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves

Lentils:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup masala paste

1 cup stewed tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup red lentils

2 handfuls spinach

1/2 to 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

To make paste, toast cumin and coriander seeds in skillet until fragrant. Use a mortar or pestle (or spice grinder) to grind spices.

In a small food processor, add ginger and pulse until broken into small pieces. Add red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and salt. Pulse a couple more times to incorporate. Next, add nut oil, tomato paste, and cilantro leaves. Pulse until paste forms and everything is well incorporated. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt coconut oil and add diced onion, cooking until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook for one minute.

Stir in masala paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add stewed tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir together and bring to a boil.

Add in lentils and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. If liquid has absorbed but lentils are still not tender, add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and cook until tender. Remove from heat and fold in spinach.

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