Lentil and Spinach Puffs with Plum-Date Dip

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

The lentil puffs, studded with spinach and cilantro, are a specialty in the northern and western parts of India, where they are enjoyed with various sauces. Make these up to an hour ahead. To reheat, lightly cover and place in a 250º oven for 12 minutes or until warmed.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 puffs and about 1 tablespoon dip)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 136
  • Calories from fat: 29%
  • Fat: 4.4g
  • Saturated fat: 0.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 4.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.5g
  • Fiber: 6.9g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 206mg
  • Calcium: 27mg


  • Puffs:
  • 3/4 cup dried small red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped spinach (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded serrano chile
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • Dip:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 pitted prunes
  • 4 whole pitted dates
  • Remaining Ingredient:
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)


  1. Sort and wash lentils; place in a bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Drain well. Place lentils and 3 tablespoons water in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. Combine the pureed lentils, spinach, and next 7 ingredients (spinach through garlic), stirring well.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop lentil mixture by heaping tablespoons into pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and lentil mixture.
  3. To prepare dip, combine 1/2 cup water and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until well blended. Serve with puffs. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
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