Here’s a recipe for Dal Palak – a favorite of my husband! I’ve told you already how much he loves dal and Palak and a combination of these 2 together….is just super lethal for him, in a good way! As for me I love anything that doesn’t require me to slog in the kitchen for long. And so this appears on our table esp. on the days when I’m too lazy to cook like Sundays, on the 1st day of the week! So this is just a guideline and you can like always play around with the spices, increase or decrease the quantity of lentils or spinach too.
DAL PALAK – Lentils with Spinach
- Toor/Tuvar Dal – 1 cup
- Palak (Spinach) – 1 bunch, washed well, and chopped roughly (like ribbons)
- Onions – 2, chopped
- Tomato – 1 small, chopped
- Garlic cloves – 3-4, chopped
- Ginger – 1/2 teaspoon, chopped
- Green chillies – 2, slit
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Garam Masala – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch
- Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
- Water – as needed
- Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Salt, to taste
In a deep bottomed sauce pan, heat oil. Splutter cumin seeds and then add chopped onions and saute till it’s translucent.
To this add ginger, garlic, green chillies and the curry leaves. Saute again till the garlic is flavorful. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir for another 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes are all mushed up.
Add all the spices to this mixture i.e. turmeric, chilli, coriander, garam masala and asafoetida powders. Saute for a minute or two.
Add about a cup or 2 of hot water and let all the spices mix well in the water. Let it come to a boil. Add salt.
To this add the dal and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure that it’s not over cooked because you’d like to see the dal in your final curry. ( you could even pressure cook the dal for one whistle).
Meanwhile, wash the palak leaves under running water and then soak it in warm water with a little turmeric/salt mixed in, for about 5 minutes. This ensures the palak is totally clean. I then transfer the palak onto a bowl filled with ice water (this process is called blanching), to retain the green color of the palak. Few minutes later, I take the Palak out and cut it into ribbons.
Add the cut palak into the almost cooked dal, along with the remaining curry leaves. Add more water and salt if needed. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Pour the lemon juice into the curry and switch off the flame.
Serve with roti, rice, chapathi or any bread!
- You could substitute Toor Dal with Masoor dal or even yellow Moong dal.
- Soaking the dal in warm water prior to cooking for about an hour, helps the dal to cook faster if you’re not planning to use a cooker.
- This curry keeps well if refrigerated for 3-4 days and also its fine to freeze it.