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Lentil Spinach Keema and Saffron Rice
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5 from 3 votes

Lentil Spinach Keema and Saffron Rice

A delicious vegan and gluten free main dish. If you have the rice and lentils cooked ahead this protein-rich keema can be ready in 30 minutes. It's particularly delicious when served with rhubarb chutney and plain whole milk yogurt.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free
Keyword: lentils, saffron rice, spinach, keema
Servings: 4 servings.
Calories: 376kcal


Saffron Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice (I used brown basmati rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Lentil and Spinach Keema:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils (see note)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (half of (14-ounce) can)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups spinach leaves , cut in ribbons
  • 2 cups fava bean shoots, optional cut in ribbons, (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


Saffron rice:

  • Bring the water, saffron and salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed.

The Keema:

  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium low flame. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute before adding the lentils, tomatoes, coffee and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 5 to 10 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking. Turn off the heat. Stir in the spinach, apple cider vinegar, and fava bean shoots, if using. Cover and let sit 5 minutes. Serve with saffron rice.


  • I used small brown lentils that retain their shape, forgoing the larger lentils that are more suited to lentil soup. I found the lentils in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, and you can order them online. For small lentil cooking instructions refer to my Spinach Salad with Green Lentils recipe.
  • Green pea shoots, sliced snow peas, or frozen green peas can take the place of the unusual fava bean shoots. Or just leave them out altogether.


Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1490IU | Vitamin C: 13.3mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 5.1mg