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Dal Palak, or Spinach Dal, is simple and delicious comfort food. Yellow lentils and spinach is used to make this delightful one-pot Indian dish. Healthy and loved by everyone.Goes well with rice or roti.
What is Dal Palak (Spinach Dal)
Dal is quintessential Indian food. Indian home food is incomplete without this lentil soup/ dal. Dal Palak(Spinach Dal) is the ultimate Indian comfort food.
I remember growing up, we used to have dal all seven days a week, sometimes with roti (Indian flatbread ) and sometimes with white rice.
I loved the rice-dal combination so much, and with a dollop of ghee /clarified butter, it was a food that made everyone's soul satisfied.
Dal is a protein powerhouse for vegetarians. Typically, Indian food has three main components- proteins, carbs, and vitamins- from dal, rice, and any vegetable curry.
It's simple, nutritious, and tastes delicious.
The fall season is upon us, and I love how the evenings are getting more relaxed with each passing day.
These days I crave something hot, comforting, and soupy. Lentils with spinach / Dal Palak serve the purpose and provide warmth.
Which Lentil is to be used for Dal Palak?
Traditionally, Dal palak is made of Tur Dal / Arhar dal or Split Pigeon Peas, but you can make this with Moong Dal /Moong beans / Masoor Dal or Red lentils. One cup of Tur Dal / split pigeon Peas contains 20 g of protein.
How To Make in an Instant Pot-
I prefer making Dal Palak in two steps. In the first step, I boiled lentils with salt and water in the instant pot for 4 minutes.
Later, I made an excellent tempering; with that, I mixed lentils and infused them into the dal.
You can certainly do it in one step, but I believe doing it in two makes this dish unbelievably yummy and flavorful.
How to Make Dal Palak in a Pressure Cooker-
Like the instant pot, dal is boiled in a pressure cooker, and later, a flavorful tempering is infused.
The pressure cooker is the traditional vessel for making dal. We grew up eating dal in a pressure cooker; however, I am making it in my trustworthy Instant Pot these days.
What Can I Serve With this?
Traditionally, it is served with rice or Indian flatbreads, but you can always eat this with regular bread slices or baguettes.
My husband has a low-carb diet nowadays, so I serve him quinoa with dal. There are no limitations, and you can have it however you like.
Can I freeze Dal Palak (Spinach Dal)
Absolutely. You can store dal palak in the fridge for 2-3 days. Before serving, reheat it for 5-7 minutes, sprinkle some lemon juice, and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
You May Want To Check these Recipes,
- 1 Cup Tur Dal(Split Pigeon Peas
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1.5 Cups Chopped Fresh Spinach
- 1 Medium Chopped Tomato
- 1 Medium Chopped Onion
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
- 1 Tsp Chopped Ginger
- 1 Tsp Chopped Green Chillies
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 Tsp Dry Mango Powder(Lme /Lemon Juice)
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder(Optional)
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste.
For second tempering(optional)
- 1 Tbsp Oil of your choice
- ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Dry Red Chilli
- ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder
- ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice.
Boiling Lentils/Dal in Instant Pot.
- Take one cup of split Pigeon Peas/Tuvar /Arhar Dal .
- Wash it 4-5 times nicely with running cold water.
- Plug the instant pot and switch it on.
- Add one cup of rinsed lentil ,4 cups of water ,1 tsp of turmeric and i tsp of salt to it .Give it a stir.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minute and let it release the steam naturally.
- Chop Onion ,Tomato .Ginger and Garlic.
- Chop Spinach Nicely.
- Keep all the ingredients handy.
How to make Dal/Lentil
- Take a deep pan .Add oil /Ghee to it .
- When its hot add cumin seeds ,dry red chilli.Let it crackle.
- Add Chopped garlic to it .Saute for 1 minute till they look light brown .
- Add onion ,green chillies and ginger to it .Saute it for 1-2 minute or till the raw smell is gone .Your flame should be on medium not on high at this point of the time.
- Now add tomato and cook till it looks softened or done .
- Add all the other spices at this point of time and saute it on slow .medium flame for 1-2 minute.
- Add chopped spinach to it .Stir it and mix with all the spice mix ,which we are stirring in the pan.
- Remove the lid of the Instant Pot and whisk the cooked dal or lentil with a whisker .This is just my personal preference .If you like your lentils just like that do not whisk it .I personally feel that whisking the lentil makes it more creamy and delicious.
- Add this whisked dal to spice mix in the pan.Mix it nicely and let it boil on medium flame for 1-2 minutes.
- If its thin for your liking let it boil for 1-2 minutes more.If its thick for you add little(around ¼ cup water) to it.
- Taste the seasoning .If you want to add salt ,go ahead and do it .I will suggest not to go overboard with it.
- Add lemon juice to it .
- Take a tempering pan .Add ghee oil to it .When its hot enough add Cumin seeds and dry red chilli.Break dry red chillies into two parts.
- Let it crackle .Add red chilli powder ,mix it and pour it immediately over the spinach Dal.
- Your Lentil Stew with Spinach is ready to serve.
- Garnish with Fresh Cilantro leaves and enjoy.
Boiling Dal in Pressure Cooker
- Add 1 cup of lentil,4 cups of water ,1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt in the pressure cooker .
- Keep the flame medium high to form the pressure.Now lower the pressure and cook till 3 whistle.If you want your lentils in shape switch off after 2 whistles only.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Follow the same tempering process.
I don’t have a pressure cooker or instapot but don’t mind soaking stirring adding and waiting so
For these beans , I have moong,channa dal. or red lentils. Could you tell me which would be best please? Soaking times and any adjustments you think would be good? Tia.
ARed lentils are best in this scenerion,followed by yellow moong dal.Red lentils take less time compare to both .Please avoid chana dal in this case.
Soak red lentils ,or yellow moong dal for 30 minutes.Cook on stove top with the step method .Just increase the quantity of water by one cup .Cook on medium flame for 20-25 minutes.Cover the pot ninty percent with a lid.This will help in releasing the steam .keep an eyeon the pot and stir in between.Cook it till your desired consistency. ,
Apologies for delayed response.
courtney RAND says
This was so yummy!! Huge hit with the family! My 13, 11, and 8 year old loved it!
Hi Courtney ,
I am so glad that your family loved it .I have two kids at home so totally understant your joy when they approve any recipe .Really apprecite your kind feedback.Thank you .