This bowl of palak dal/ spinach dal is my kind of comfort food. It feels like a hug that is heartwarming and deeply nourishing. I love having bowls of this dal on its own but it tastes fantastic with some steamed basmati rice
This was my first meal after I had a baby, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the colourless and questionable hospital food. My mum would make this 3-4 times a week and I would gulp it down. This palak dal is so nourishing and healing for a new mom, but really I make it all year round. all of us love it at home.
This is often my go-to weeknight dal besides this dal. When I am lazy I have it with steamed rice and when I am more organized I have it with phulka or rotis that I make at home.
I recommend cooking the dal on the stovetop, if you manage to pre-soak your moong dal, it will cook much faster than 40 minutes. If you are making it in a pressure cooker give it only 1 whistle, otherwise the dal will become gloopy.
I also recommend using ghee for the tadka, it flavours the dal beautifully. I make my ghee at home, but a good quality store-bought version will also be fine. For a vegan dal, I like Aneela's Emerald dal, it is very different but also delicious.
- 1 cup mung beans/moong dal (I used split mung beans)
- 1 bunch spinach, finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 3 green chillies, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard leaves
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- A pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Salt to taste
- Finely chopped cilantro for garnish
- ½ lime juice for garnish
In a large pot add the dal and turmeric along with 4-5 cups of water, bring it to a boil, and then simmer till the dal is cooked. This should take about 35-45 minutes.
When the dal is nearly cooked through prepare the tadka. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add ghee and let it heat up. Add mustard seeds, when it splutters add cumin seeds, asafoetida, chili, garlic and ginger. Stir for about 30 seconds. Next, add in the spinach and mix till it wilts.
Tip tadka into the large pot with the cooked dal. Add salt.
Let it boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. taste and adjust seasoning.
Let it cool slightly and then garnish with cilantro leaves and lime juice.
Serve it with warm rice or fresh hot rotis.
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