Dal Palak
Dal Palak, a delicious combination of protein rich assorted lentils (dals), fiber rich spinach (palak) and magical ghee tempered spices, is a healthy Indian curry cum dal that can turn any meal into healthy meal. Its nice green color is as tempting as it can get and the combination of chopped and crushed spinach gives it a taste and texture like no other.
1/4 cup Chana Dal (bengal gram)
1/4 cup Toor Dal (pigeon pea)
1/4 cup Yellow Moong Dal
2 cups chopped Fresh Spinach (palak)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons Ginger-Garlic Paste (or crushed)
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 tablespoon Oil
1/2 tablespoon Ghee (clarified butter)
1 cube Butter, for garnishing
  1. Wash all the dals for 2-3 times in water and soak them together for 15-20 minutes in water. You can use the only one type of dal or a mixture of 2-3 types of dal according to the availability. Drain excess water from dals and pressure-cook them with 1½-cups water and salt for 3-whistles in a 3-5 liter capacity pressure cooker over medium flame.
  2. Turn off flame and let pressure subside to natural level, it will take around 7-8 minutes. Open the lid and mash the dal gently with the backside of a spoon.
  3. Clean the spinach and cut it. Wash the chopped palak. Add 1½ cups palak in the small jar of a mixer grinder and grind into smooth puree. If it’s not getting pureed properly after multiple pulses, add 2-tablespoons water and try again.
  4. Heat oil and ghee together in a pan over medium flame (ghee is used for a nice aromatic flavor). Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. When seed turn light brown, add chopped onion and sauté until it turns light brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilli and sauté for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Add pureed palak (prepared in step-3), remaining 1/2 cup chopped palak and salt to taste.
  6. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add lemon juice, coriander powder, cooked dal and 1/2 cup water.
  8. Mix well and cook for 6-7 minutes or until the dal turns little thick. Taste for the salt and add more if required at this stage.
  9. Turn off the flame. Transfer prepared spinach dal to a serving bowl and garnish with a cube of butter. Serve it with your choice of rice or pulao.
Tips and Variations:
  • If you are in hurry then skip soaking of dal (in step-1) and pressure-cook it for 1-more whistle (4 whistles total).
  • In this recipe, spinach puree is used for a nice green color. You can also add only chopped spinach or only spinach puree according to your choice.
  • To get the desired consistency, add more water (step-7) or cook longer (step-8).
  • If you are preparing this healthy dal for kids then do not add green chillies.
Taste: Mild spicy
Serving Ideas: Serve dal palak with jeera rice or any stuffed paratha as a healthy and protein rich food for lunch or dinner.

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