palak dal or spinach dal recipe with step by step photos – there are many ways of making palak dal. this palak dal recipe is a very simple and easy one and won’t take much of your time. also this palak dal recipe is without onion and garlic. i have also shared another variation of palak dal in which onions and garlic are added.
palak and dal go very well together. in india we do add veggies to dal and spinach dal or palak dal is one of those recipes.
i have adapted this palak dal recipe from a friend who would make sumptuous food. being a meditator, he would never add onion, garlic and chilies to his food. whilst once at his home, he made this dal for us. i thought the dal would be very bland…. no onions and no garlic…. but i was wrong…..
the palak dal was sooooo good. it had the subtle aroma of ghee tempered with cumin and a gingery taste plus creamy and soft. onions and garlic have a strong flavor and taste. i am sure this palak dal would also taste great with onions and garlic added to it.
there are no heavy spices like garam masala added to this palak dal. it goes well with basmati rice and even soft phulkas or chapatis.
our friend used to make this palak dal basically with 2 lentils:
1: tuvar dal/spilt pigeon peas and
2: masoor dal/pink lentil.
i have also added some chopped green chilies and red chili powder to the dal. the chilies just enhance the flavor and taste of the dal without making it spicy or hot. for tempering you could use oil, but for better taste and flavor use ghee.
spinach dal or palak dal recipe below:
- ½ cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils)
- ½ cup masoor dal (pink lentils)
- 2 cups chopped spinach (palak)
- 1 green chili (hari mirch), chopped
- 1 inch ginger (adrak), chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (sabut jeera)
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
- 2 cups water, for pressure cooking the dals
- ½ or 1 cup water to be added to the dal in the last step
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee
- salt as required
pick and wash the lentils. take the lentils in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder. add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 3-4 minutes or till the dals become soft and mushy. mash the dals and keep aside.
in a pan, heat ghee. fry the cumin and then add the chopped ginger and fry for a minute.
now add the chopped chili and fry for half a minute. fry for a minute.
now add the chopped spinach. add red chili powder and asafoetida
saute for 7-8 minute till the spinach becomes soft and stops releasing water on a medium flame.
its time to add the mashed lentils now. mix the lentils with the spinach.
add water around ½ cup to 1 cup depending on how thick or thin you want the dal to be.
finally add salt and simmer the palak dal for 6-7 minutes.
serve palak dal hot with rice and a side vegetable dish or salad or raita.
step by step spinach dal or palak dal recipe:
1: pick and rinse the dal. pressure cook the lentils with turmeric for 4-5 minutes till the lentils become soft and mushy.
2: wash 2 cups chopped palak (spinach) leaves. chop them finely and keep aside.
3: in a pan or kadai, heat 2 or 3 tbsp ghee and fry 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera.
4: when the cumin seeds sizzle, add 1 inch chopped ginger. fry for a minute.
5: add 1 chopped green chili and fry for half a minute.
6: add 2 cups chopped palak (spinach).
7: now add ½ tsp red chili powder and ¼ tsp asafoetida. mix these with the palak and saute the palak for 7-8 minutes stirring in between
8: its time now to mash the dal. the green you see in the dal is the palak. i was using the same spoon for sauting the palak an mashing dal….. one spoon less for me to wash 🙂
9: when the palak softens and becomes dry like shown in the pic below.
10: then its time to add the mashed dal.
11: mix the cooked dal with the palak. if you want a very thick dal with chapatis, you will stop at this stage. at salt… mix well and simmer the dal for a 1-2 minutes. keep stirring continuously. if you want a creamy, smooth palak dal then continue further.
12: add water to the dal. the quantity of water will depend on how much thick or thin you want the palak dal to be.
13: add salt and mix it with the palak dal. simmer for a 6-7 minutes.
14: serve the palak dal hot with rice or chapatis and a side vegetable dish or salad or raita.
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