Spinach with dal and dried prawns

This recipe is similar to the pucuk manis/cekur manis or the scientic word would be Sauropus androgynus stew that I prepare all the time. The difference is that the coconut milk is omitted, instead, tamarind juice is used. Of course we can prepare the stew with many type of green leaves, and some do use dried anchovies/ikan bilis in their stew.For me ,I usually prepare the stew with an ikan bilis/dried anchovy sambal as accompaniment. Both complement each other very well.  This gravy is similarly to the stew , but I’m using spinach and dried prawns,you can replace it with anchovies/ikan bilis too.

The curry is simple to prepare , and goes well with white rice and even bread/chapatti.Have a spicy side dish/ikan bilis sambal  to go along with this curry!

200gms toor dal, washed
11/2 tsp turmeric powder
Less than a ¼ tsp chilli powder
5 cloves garlic,chopped
2/3 green chillies,slit
1 tsp ghee
1 liter of water to cook dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 dried chillies,cut into a few pieces
3 tbsp dried prawns,soak in water for 20mins ,drain and pound coarsely
1 onion,sliced
500gms spinach, washed and finely chopped
1/3 cup tamarind juice
Salt to taste

In a large saucepan, cook dal with turmeric powder,garlic, green chillies,ghee and water .The dal must spread nicely and well cooked ,this will take about 3mins. If not enough water add more.
In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil, stur fry mustard seeds,fennel seeds until aromatic.Add in dried chillies dried prawns and onions and stir fry further. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the dal is very very soft, add in spinach,tamrind juice and chilli powder,salt to the saucepan.Simmer until spinach is almost cooked ,about 3 mins.Add the fried spices  to the dal and spinach and simmer another 2 mins. Close fire. The gravy will thicken once it cools down.