Dal Palak is a delicious lentil-based Indian dish that brings the goodness of spinach, garlic together as a humble accompaniment. Here is how to make this recipe in true Dhaba Style.
About This Recipe
Dal Palak or Spinach Dal is a simple everyday Dal which is loaded with the goodness of both, Protein and Iron. It is a favorite combination in my family and the tadka of garlic makes it even more delicious.
Palak Moong Dal is a delicious lentil-based, authentic Indian dishes that bring the goodness of spinach, garlic together as a humble accompaniment.
Moong Dal and Chopped Spinach leaves are a wonderful combination, and surprisingly so, considering both have very different tastes.
When cooked together they make for a very healthy, nutritious, and protein-rich gravy.
Dal Palak is very easy to make and hardly takes any time to get ready, making it apt for everyday meals.
Moong Dal is one versatile lentil and can be cooked in a number of ways, sweet Moong Dal Halwa, and rich Moong Dal Payasam. Yet, for us, this Dal Palak in true Dhaba Style also stays favorite as it is healthy as well.
This Dal Palak is,
- Rich in Protein and Iron
- Quick and Easy
- Perfect for weekday meals
Dal – For this Dal Palak recipe, I have used Yellow Lentil Dal or Dhuli Moong Dal, but you can also use any other Dal instead of yellow dal. You can also use a combination of two dal in this recipe.
Spinach – This Dal is filled with the goodness of Iron-rich leafy vegetable Palak or Spinach. Finely chop the spinach to use in the Dal. You can also puree the spinach and add in the dal, but I like the texture chopped spinach adds.
Ghee – A ghee tadka in this Spinach Dal adds a really nice flavor and aroma. But you can even use vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
Spices – Turmeric powder and salt are the only spices needed.
For the tadka – I have added a ghee tadka in the palak dal to enhance the taste even more. This tadka will have ingredients such as ginger, garlic, dry red chili, green chilies, cumin seeds, thing, and red chili powder.
Others – Some more basic ingredients needed are lemon juice and fresh coriander, which adds a little tanginess in the Dal and coriander leaves adds a nice color along with freshness.
If you like to make it tangy, you can even add a little bit of tamarind paste and tamarind water in the dal.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash the dal and put it in a pressure pan. Add 3 cups of water, chopped spinach, salt, and turmeric powder.
Pressure cook till done. I cooked it for 1 whistle on high heat, then lowered the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Add lemon juice in cooked dal.
Heat ghee in a small pan. When the ghee is hot, add ginger, garlic, dry red chilies and green chilli. Fry till garlic is slightly browned. Add cumin seeds and heeng. Switch off the heat.
Add red chilli powder.
Immediately pour the ghee over the cooked dal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spinach dal is also called as Palakura Pappu or Spinach Pappu in Andhra.
To make Andhra Style Spinach dal, Cook the dal with salt, turmeric powder, and spinach.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, thing, and dry red chilies and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add curry leaves, garlic, and onion and fry until onion turns slightly brown. Now add chopped tomatoes, green chilies, sambar powder, and salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked dal and tamarind paste and mix well.
To make this dal in Instant Pot, set the pot to SAUTE. Then add ghee and once the ghee is hot, add the tempering ingredients.
Once the garlic becomes brown, add the dal, water, turmeric powder, and salt.
Close the lid and set the IP to PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 6 minutes.
Let the pressure release on its own and then open the lid of the pot. Your Instant Pot Dal Palak is ready.
To make the Palak Dal vegan, you can prepare a tadka using oil instead of ghee. All the other ingredients used to make these Dal are vegan.
If you have gluten allergies, you can avoid adding hing in the tadka. You can probably use organic hing, which is gluten-free to add in the tadka as it adds a nice flavor in the Spinach Dal.
To make a Jain version of the same, just avoid adding garlic in the recipe. All the other ingredients and the process will remain the same.
Dal – You can change the lentils to make this Dal Palak. I have used Dhuli Moong Dal in this recipe, but you can replace it with Hari Moong Dal, Dhuli Masoor Dal, Chana Dal, or Tuvar Dal.
Greens – Along with Palak or Spinach, you can also add greens like Bathua (Chenopodium), Methi, or even Kale Leaves. Radish Greens can also be added to this Dal.
Vegetables – You can also add some more vegetables such as Pumpkin, Carrot etc in the Dal.
Tempering – You can give a very simple tempering of Hing and Jeera to this Dal. If you want it more complex, add onion in the tempering as well.
A tempering of Panch Phoran will also give it a new style.
Achari – Add some homemade Achari Masala to this dal to give it a tangy taste.
This Dal Palak lasts in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days, when stored in an airtight container. Add in a little water while reheating, as it tends to get lumpy when stored. You can either heat it in the pan or in the microwave.
You can even freeze this Dal for about 2 months. Prepare the dal, let it cool down fully and then freeze in a freezer-safe container. Thaw it in the fridge overnight or for a few hours on the counters and then reheat while serving.
It also tastes great with Indian Bread such as Roti, Tawa Paratha, Laccha Paratha, Missi Roti, Multigrain Roti, Bajre Ki Roti, or any other Bread that you like to serve with it.
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Dal Palak Recipe
- ½ cup Yellow Lentil / Dhuli moong dal
- 3 cups Water
- 1 cup Spinach / Palak (Chopped)
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Ginger (Chopped)
- 6-8 cloves Garlic (Smashed)
- 2-3 Dry red chilies
- 1 Green chilli (Split into half)
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp Hing
- ½ tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Fresh coriander (Chopped)
- Wash the dal and put it in a pressure pan.
- Add 3 cups of water, chopped spinach, salt and turmeric powder.
- Pressure cook till done.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook it covered on medium heat till done.
- Add lemon juice in cooked dal.
- Transfer the dal in the serving bowl.
- Heat ghee in a small pan.
- When the ghee is hot, add ginger, garlic, dry red chilies and green chilli.
- Fry till garlic is slightly browned.
- Add cumin seeds and heeng.
- Switch off the heat.
- Add red chili powder and immediately pour the ghee over the cooked dal.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with rice or phulka.