spinach dal recipe, palak dal recipe
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5 from 12 votes

spinach with lentils

This is an easy to prepare creamy arhar dal (pigeon pea lentils) with spinach, onions, tomatoes and spices.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Dassana Amit


For pressure cooking lentils

  • ½ cup Arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils) or 115 grams dal
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder

For tempering

  • 1.5 tablespoon Oil Or ghee or butter
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • cup Chopped onions Or sliced shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped
  • cup Chopped tomatoes
  • ½ inch Ginger , crushed or 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 3 to 4 Garlic , crushed with peels
  • 1 Green chili Sliced or chopped
  • 1.5 cups Chopped spinach Or 75 to 100 grams spinach
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional

Other ingredients

  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam masala Optional
  • A few drops of lemon juice Optional
  • Salt As required


cooking lentils

  • Pick and then rinse 1/2 cup arhar dal (pigeon pea lentils) a couple of times in water.
  • Drain very well and add the lentils in a pressure cooker along with turmeric powder and 1.5 cups water. Stir well and pressure cook the lentils for 8 to 9 whistles or for 14 to 15 minutes on a medium flame.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, check the lentils to see if they are cooked well. Mash them with a spoon and keep aside.

tempering and making creamy spinach dal

  • In another pan, heat oil or ghee or butter. Add the cumin and saute them till fragrant and brown.
  • Add the sliced shallots and saute till translucent. You can also use chopped onions instead of sliced shallots.
  • Next add the crushed ginger and garlic along with 1 to 2 green chilies (sliced or chopped).
  • Saute till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic disappears, about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Now add asafoetida, red chili powder, coriander powder and stir well.
  • Then add chopped tomatoes.
  • Next add 1/2 tsp kasuri methi. Kasuri methi is optional and you can skip it.
  • Mix everything very well.
  • Saute till the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides of the mixture.
  • Add the spinach and mix very well again. Saute till the spinach wilts.
  • Add the cooked and mashed dal. Stir well.
  • Then add 1/2 cup water or as required. For a thicker dal, you can even skip the water or add less. For a thinner dal, add some more water.
  • Mix and stir well. Season with salt and mix again.
  • Continue to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or till the dal reaches the desired consistency. Lastly sprinkle garam masala powder, lemon juice and stir. You can even skip the garam masala and lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with rotis, parathas or steamed rice.