Palak ki Daal/Spinach Lentil Stew

Most Indians would be amused by this post. Publishing a dal recipe is like….explaining a fish how to swim. An Indian from any corner of this multicultural diverse land has eaten and usually knows how to make daal – basic Indian lentil soup.

Palakura pappu, kirai paruppu, Dal palak, Palak aamti, palkaachi daal, Cheerayam parippum… varied names of one dish – Palak ki daal. Every state/community/caste in India has its own version. Some use channa dal, some toor, some arhar and some use mung dal.
Tempering also differs accordingly, some do it with garlic-onions, others with coconut and sambhar powder and some with just plain ghee, cumin seeds and asafoetida. The result is universal, a healthy concoction of protein rich lentils and nutrient dense spinach.

Palak ki daal

Palak ki daal

Here, I am posting, a mixed version of this humble daal. My mother made it without onions and garlic, but I have added the supremely aromatic strong roots to enhance more flavors to this simple dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup split yellow mung dal/pulse, washed and soaked for 15-30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup split green mung dal with skin, washed and soaked for 15-30 minutes
  • 1 big bunch spinach leaves, washed and chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, thinly julienned
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 big fat tomato, chopped
  • 2 spoons of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2-3 pinches of asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Chopped spinach and soaked pulses.

Chopped spinach and soaked pulses.

Method

I use a pressure cooker to cook the lentils, its faster,saves resources and healthier. So, in a pressure cooker, throw in your soaked pulses, along with chopped spinach, julienned ginger, turmeric powder, salt and 1 glass water. After 2 whistles, switch the flame off.

Now, In a pot, heat ghee, add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, saute the minced garlic and onions till they turn translucent. Now add tomatoes, along with red chili powder. Saute till water evaporates and the fat starts leaving the sides of the pot. This means, you have saute the contents really well, if you don’t want the smell of raw tomatoes invading your yummy dish.

Now to this masala, add the pressure cooked ingredients. Add chopped coriander leaves at this stage. Give it a nice mix, the consistency is semi thick, not very watery and not very thick. Give it a boil. Remove in a serving bowl. now make another tempering, of hot ghee, crackled cumin seeds and asafoetida. I also add a little bit of chili powder at this stage… hot ghee/oil brings out the redness in the chili powder.

Now pour this tempering over the stew, and enjoy with rice/rotis or as it is.

Dal Palak with puffed rotis

Dal Palak with puffed rotis

I made chappathis/rotis/phulkas(whatever you want to call) with this divine daal. Our lunch was complete, wholesome and nutritious.

Whole some lunch.

Whole some lunch.

Simple and earthy

Simple and earthy

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4 thoughts on “Palak ki Daal/Spinach Lentil Stew

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