Earlier, whenever I added leafy vegetables to dal or kadhi, Devansh used to take them out. He could eat them just fine as sabzis but the minute I added them in dal he didn’t like it. I figured it was confusing for him to handle vegetables that require chewing if mixed with things like dal that don’t require chewing. So while making spinach dal or kadhi I used to purée spinach. Now however Devansh does eat chopped spinach added in dal, and I end up making palak dal quite often as my husband, Kalpesh, also likes it.
Earlier I would use only masoor dal but recently I came across an interesting recipe that had a combination of toor dal and masoor dal. I feel toor dal balances the astringent taste of masoor dal quite nicely. Spinach as we know is rich in iron, calcium, folate, and multiple vitamins. While the lentils, toor and masoor dal are a good source of proteins. Try this nutrient-rich palak dal recipe and let me know how you like it.
How to make palak dal
Nutrient-rich palak dal recipe with proteins-rich lentils, and spinach which contains iron, calcium, folate, and multiple vitamins.
- 2 cups chopped spinach (palak)
- Half cup masoor dal (pink lentils)
- Half cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- 1 green chili chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- Half tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/4th tsp asafoetida (hing)
- 1/4th tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/4th tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
- 1/4th tsp red chili powder
- 1 tbsp homemade ghee
- Salt to taste
- Wash the two dals thoroughly, and then pressure-cook them by adding haldi and one cup water. (I use a small pressure cooker. I keep the flame on medium-high for 2-3 minutes and then cook on low flame for two whistles. Masoor dal cooks very fast so I don't prefer to cook the dals for longer time.)
- Heat a kadai, and then add ghee and cumin seeds.
- When the seeds start to splutter, add hing and then chopped ginger.
- Sauté for a minute and then add chopped green chili.
- Sauté for another minute and then add chopped spinach.
- Add salt and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes. (Don't overcook the spinach as cooking it too much will make it lose its nutrients.)
- Add red chili powder, stir, and then add cooked lentils (dals).
- Add 1-2 cups of water and amchur powder, and increase the flame. (Amount of water you need to add will depend on whether you want to eat the dal with chapati or rice.)
- When the dal comes to a boil, turn off heat.
- Serve hot with chapati or rice.
- In summer season, you can add raw mango seeds (left over after using its flesh for pickles etc) instead of amchur powder.
- If you don't have amchur powder at home, use kokum instead. You can even squeeze lemon juice if you want , not only for adding sour taste but also because vitamin C aids in iron absorption.
- If you are making the palak dal for toddlers, purée the spinach instead of using chopped spinach, use grated ginger instead of chopped ginger, and use powdered cumin seeds instead of whole.
- Also use non-spicy, light-colored green chili and cut it length-wise in two. Deseed it and then take out the pieces from the dal before serving.
- You can tone down the spiciness of the dal for toddlers by adding some curd to it.