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

Dal Palak - Dhaba Style

Dhaba style dal palak is one of the easiest and most comforting meal you can make at home that is restaurant famous. Dal (lentils) and palak (spinach) together is called dal palak. Best when paired with rice or roti...PURE BLISS!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: curry, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 270kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup toor dal or use yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup palak leaves/spinach tightly packed, wash and chopped into small bits
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 3 green chilies slit lengthwise (if you want milder spice), or chopped fine with seeds (if you want more spice)
  • 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 (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch asafetida

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Add lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice with a dollop of ghee on top. Pure bliss!

Video

Notes

  • ALWAYS serve dal palak immediately hot with steamed rice. With a spoon full of ghee (clarified butter) over piping hot dal .... outrageously DELICIOUS!!
  • Pressure cooked dal for mentioned time in recipe will give you mushy texture dal and that's how we want it.
  • However, if you are after slightly gritty textured dal, pressure cook for lesser time probably about 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • While cooking dal add generous pinch of turmeric powder and 5-6 cloves of garlic, it makes it more flavorful and tasty.
  • Skip red chili powder if you like yellowish dal.
  • Use green chilies according to your spice tolerance levels. I like my dal to be more spicier, because the spicier it tastes better.
Tempering options -
  • I like to temper my dal with browned garlic slices, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies and asafeotida.
  • You can add few thin slices of onion, fry in hot oil until golden brown and add to the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe.
  • You can also add a dash of red chili powder to the tempering. This is one of the most common ways to temper dal in many restaurants and households.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1066IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg