Christine Manfield's Yellow Dal with Garlic and Spinach

Christine Manfield is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs – a curious cook and a perfectionist inspired by the culinary melting pot of global flavours. As an award-winning author, her books – A Personal Guide to India & Bhutan, Dessert Divas, Tasting India, Fire, Spice, Stir, Paramount Cooking and Paramount Desserts have spiced up the lives of keen cooks everywhere.

In celebration of her soon-to-be released book Simple Indian Cooking Class – Manfield shares a recipe for Yellow Dal with Spinach and Garlic. You can order her much loved book here.

An easy dal preparation, native warrigal greens make an excellent substitute for spinach if you can get them, giving a very Australian character to the dish. This dal can be served with barbequed meats, a variety of fresh salads and flatbread and makes a great addition to a picnic hamper.


3 tablespoons ghee
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced green chilli
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 cup (100 g/3.5 ounces) chana dal (split chickpeas), soaked, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped spinach
4 small dried chillies


Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until they start to pop.

Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened and pink. Add the garlic, green chilli, turmeric and salt and stir to combine.

Add the dal and stir thoroughly to coat in the spices.

Stir in 2 cups (500 ml/ 17 fl oz) water, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the dal is soft and most of the water has been absorbed without the mixture being dry.

Add a splash more water, if required.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.

Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until just wilted.

Add the spinach to the dal and stir to combine.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and whole dried chillies and cook for 30 seconds or until sizzling.

Pour the cumin and chilli over the spinach dal to serve.

Recipe from Christine Manfield. Follow Christine on instagram here, and visit her website here.