PP Spinach Lentil Chickpea Masala with Millet

Chef:  Jessica Meyers Altman; Garden Fresh Foodie
Makes:  4-6 Servings
Prep Time:  25 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes
Total Time:  55 minutes



  • 1 ½ c minced red or yellow onion
  • 2 ¼ t garam masala (common Indian spice)
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t cardamom
  • ¾ t cumin
  • ¼ t red chili flake
  • 3 c of diced tomatoes (fresh) or 1 quart plus 1 pint canned tomatoes, juice poured off and reserved to be
  •       added to cooking water.
  • 5c packed spinach or other in-season green like Swiss chard
  • 6 good size cloves of garlic or 3 T minced garlic (or can use ½ c in-season garlic scapes)
  • 1 ½ - 2” knob of fresh ginger (about 2 T)
  • ½ t fresh peppercorns (or ground pepper to taste)
  • 1 ½ T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ c water (or more to create a thinner sauce)


  • 1 ½  c water, includes the reserve tomato juice if using canned tomatoes
  • 3/4  t kosher or sea salt
  • ¾ c  red lentils
  • 3 ½ c cooked chickpeas (2-15 oz cans, washed and drained if using canned)
  • ½ c dry millet (or could use rinsed and soaked quinoa, couscous, or 1 c cooked brown rice)
  • 1 -2 T fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Additional spinach or other greens to stir in at end, and fresh cilantro or parsley to serve


  1. Place onions into a large hot Dutch oven or stock pot with 2 T water.  Saute’ until onion has softened and is translucent.
  2. Add garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin.  
  3. Mix well and cook for another minute (keep this pot, as you’ll add everything back into it)
  4. Add remaining sauce ingredients into blender, along with onion mixture.  Blend, adding additional water to thin if necessary.
  5. Add lentils, millet, and chickpeas, along with reserved tomato liquid and additional water, equaling 1 ½ c.
  6. Pour in ¾ of the sauce mixture, reserving the remaining to be poured in at the end.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. When millet and lentils are tender, stir in the remaining sauce, additional greens (if desired), and fresh lemon juice.  Heat until warmed throughout, about 3 minutes (making sure you don’t overcook and lose the green nutrients).
  8. Serve with a beautiful side salad.  This is great the next day and even cold!

Jessica Meyers Altman
Associate Professor of Whole Food Nutrition & Living

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

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