Sunday, May 1, 2016

Daal Palak

There are some dishes we all used to run away from as kids. We would hold fights, make faces, put up arguments and when none of it works we would literally beg mom in order to escape eating those "healthy" dishes. Do you have some such dishes coming to your mind? The recipe for the dish that I am sharing here today is one such recipe I used to shrug seeing in front of me most of my childhood and teenage life. Daal Palak!!

Strange enough, but it is the same dish I can't wait to lick off my plate once I am done cooking it. Yes it is funny that the same dish my mother used to make and as a child/teen I would be hell bent on not eating, that I now yearn for and find perfect to eat with hot and fluffy phulkas or chapatti for lunch. Do you also find yourself in the same spot as I do? :-)

Another gem of a dish from North Indian cuisine, Daal Palak is a powerhouse of nutrients such as iron, fibre, protein and vitamins. The green colour of this curry/gravy is proof enough to show how healthy and nutritious this dish is! Many people do not like spinach especially children but if you cook spinach with moong daal or yellow lentils and masoor daal or pink lentils, it will be a creamy green sauce/curry that everyone will want to lick their fingers off! You can adjust the chili if making for children!

I have learnt this recipe from my mother and over the years have developed a knack of putting it together without much effort on the table in under 30 minutes. This recipe is healthy and easy to make and requires very little ingredients. It has the subtle rich aroma of ghee or clarified butter, tiny bits of soft onions and a pungent flavour of garlic and creamy texture of the lentils and spinach.

Prepping Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Difficulty Level: Easy


Spinach leaves, 1 bunch, washed
Moong Daal, 2 tbsp, washed
Masoor Daal, 2 tbsp, washed
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Onion, 1, finely chopped
Tomato, 1, grind to paste
4-5 green chilies
4 tbsp ghee
1 cup water
turmeric powder 1 tsp
red chili powder 1 tsp
salt, to taste


1) Start by washing spinach leaves in a colander. And wash the daal too.

2) In a pressure cooker put the washed spinach leaves, daal, 1-2 green chilies (whole), 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup water along with some salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Put the lid on and pressure cook until it whistles. Turn off the gas and let the steam escape.

3) Meanwhile, in a wok put ghee and add chopped garlic and let it sizzle until the raw smell disappears.

4) Now put in the chopped onions.

5) Until the onions brown, grind 1-2 tomatoes and 2 green chilies with a blender.

6) Once the onions seem brown add in the tomato-green chili paste. Saute until you see oil releasing from the sides of this mixture.

7) Open the lid of the pressure cooker and using a blender grind the spinach, daal, garlic and green chili. You will get a dark green paste.


8) When you see oil has separated from the tadka add in the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix.

9) Now add in the dark green paste to the tadka. Mix well. Add in half a cup water of you find the daal palak too thick. Boil it.

Serve with a dollop of butter along with fresh chapatti or parathas!

How do you incorporate spinach in your diet?

Tell me all the tips and tricks you use to hide it in the kids meals to make sure they are eating this healthy green leafy vegetable! I'd love to read and be enlightened.

Thanks for reading! :-)

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