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Dal Palak | Spinach Dal is a very simple yet delicious Indian dish made with lentils, spinach, and seasoned with few spices.

Serves 2


for the Dal

1 cup Toor dal

2 cups of water

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt or to taste

for the Tempering

3 cups chopped spinach 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp minced ginger 1 onion, finely chopped 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped 2 to 3 dried red chilies, broken into half 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder Pinch of hing (asafoetida) - (optional) Dash of lemon juice Salt, to taste 2 tbsp + 1 tsp oil/ghee

for the second Tempering (optional)

1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 dried red chilies 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder


1. Rinse the Toor dal well under running water until the water runs clear, then soak it with sufficient water for about 30 minutes.

2. Add 2 cups of water to a pan, bring to boil and add the dal, salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Cook on a medium heat until soft. Mash the dal with the back of a spoon for a smooth consistency. (Do not use a blender). You may also leave it as it is if you prefer it.

3. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. Once it crackles add minced ginger, garlic, hing, dried red chilies and chopped onions, sauté until it turns translucent.

4. Now, add chopped tomatoes, sauté until it turns mushy and the oil separates. Add chopped spinach, stir-fry until it wilts, for about a minute then add red chilli powder, and sauté for another 30 seconds. Now, add the cooked dal, and give everything a good mix.

5. Add about 1 cup of water or as per desired consistency, bring to a boil. Check for seasonings and adjust to taste accordingly. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Drizzle some lemon juice and mix well.

6. (Optional) Prepare the second tempering by heating oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds, when it crackles, add red chilies. Switch off the heat, add red chilli powder, mix well with the oil and pour it over the dal immediately. Mix it well with the dal.

Serve with rice, Chapatti, Nan or Paratha which is my favorite way to eat this dish.


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