dal palak served in earthen pots is simple dal recipe with goodness of spinach
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5 from 4 votes

Dal Palak - Dhaba Style

Dhaba style dal palak is dal (lentils) cooked with palak (spinach). This restaurant famous spinach dal is full of flavours, economical and loaded with nutritions!  Comforting and tasty dal palak it easy to make! Best when paired with rice or roti...PURE BLISS!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: curry, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dal, dal palak, lentils, spinach, side dish for rice
Calories: 1078kcal


  • 1 cup toor dal or use yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup palak leaves/spinach tightly packed
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger pieces
  • 1 tablespoon garlic pieces + 1 teaspoon extra
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch asafetida


  • Rinse dal 2 to 3 times. Soak dal in enough water for about 20 minutes. Pressure cook the soaked dal in enough water with ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder for about 2 to 3 whistles(i.e pressure cook dal for 20 minutes). 
    Note : Pressure cooked dal for mentioned time will give you mushy texture dal and that's how we want it. If you are after slightly gritty textured dal, pressure cook for lesser time probably about 10 to 12 minutes. 
    Pro-Tip : While cooking dal add generous pinch of turmeric powder and 5-6 cloves of garlic.
  • Pick palak leaves(spinach) and rinse it under water to remove all the dirt from the leaves. Chop it fine as possible, keep aside.
  • In a wok add 1 tablespoon ghee plus ½ tablespoon oil. Add cumin seeds and will till it turns slightly brown. Add finely chopped garlic and ginger pieces. Saute till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.
  • Next add finely chopped onions and green chilies, cook until onions start to turn brown.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turns soft and release the juices.
  • Add finely chopped spinach leaves. Cook till spinach is completely cooked.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste and mix well. Saute for a minute.Note : You can skip red child powder and just add green chilies like you see in the recipe video. If adding red child powder, note the color of the dal would change. 
    I love yellow-dish dal, so I skipped red chili powder.
  • Add cooked dal and mix well. Cover and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off flame.
  • In another small pan heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Add mustard seeds wait till it splutters. Add cumin seeds and wait till it starts to turn brown. Add thin sliced garlic and sauté till garlic turns golden brown. Add asafetida and dried red chilies, let it cook for 20 seconds and turn off flame. Add this tempering to the dal.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice with a dollop of ghee on top. Pure bliss!


To get the BEST results -
ALWAYS serve dal palak immediately hot with steamed rice. With a spoon full of ghee (clarified butter) over piping hot dal .... outrageously DELICIOUS!!


Calories: 1078kcal | Carbohydrates: 145g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 2383mg | Fiber: 67g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 4265IU | Vitamin C: 52.2mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 17.6mg