Indian · North Indian · Vegetarian

Dal Palak (classic Yellow Lentils with Spinach)


Serves: 4
Cooking time: 45 – 50 mins


1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1½ cup spinach (palak), finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp cumin seeds (dhane)
¾ tbsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
3 green chilies, finely chopped
1 onion, medium size, chopped
1 tomato, medium size, chopped
1 tsp red chili powder, or adjust as per spice tolerance
1½ tsp salt, adjust as per taste
1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
2 dry red chilies


1.  Rinse dal 2-3 times and soak it in 2 cups of water for 20 mins.
2.  Pressure cook the soaked dal with water and ¼ tsp turmeric powder for 3 whistles.
3.  Wash, rinse and finely chop palak. Keep aside.
4.  Take ½ tbsp oil and ½ tbsp butter in a pan. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute for 30 sec. Then add finely chopped ½ tbsp ginger, ½ tbsp garlic, green chilies and saute for more 30 sec.
5.  Once the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away, add onions and saute until onions are cooked.
6.  Then add chopped tomato to the pan and cook until they are soft.
7.  Add chopped palak to the pan and cook for 5 mins.
8.  Then add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and mix well. Saute for 1 min. Add cooked dal and 1 cup of water to the pan. Mix everything together.
9.  Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 mins on medium heat. Then turn off heat.
10.  Tempering / Tadka : Heat ½ tbsp oil and ½ tbsp ghee in another small pan on medium heat. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Then add ¼ tbsp of finely chopped ginger and ½ tbsp garlic to the pan. Saute till it turns little brown. Add pinch of hing and dry red chili. Saute for 10 sec on high heat and turn off heat.
11.  Add this tempering to the dal and quickly cover the pan with the lid, so that the aroma stays in and mixes with the dal.

Serve hot atop a dish of white steamed rice.


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