Dal Palak / Spinach Dal / Lentils and Spinach Curry

Dal Palak / Spinach Dal / Spinach Lentils Curry

Dal Palak / Spinach Dal

I have such a poor memory when it comes to remembering ‘lists’ – well, that greatly affects my ability to remembering recipes and recreating the same recipe in exactly the same manner more than once. Not fun. Especially when you make something that is just perfect for you and would love to be able to do the same every time you make the dish. Well, the blog pretty much started that way: I used to send myself emails with rough notes of how much of each ingredient was used and what needs to be done after I make something or when I ask my mom or anyone for a recipe. I still come back to my blog post of my all-time favorite Mor Kuzhambu recipe ,even though I have made it over a 100 times by now. You see, I don’t trust my memory very much and I can never be sure I am not missing anything.

The reason I am telling you this is because this post (and most others) are very much my references for the next time. Especially this one. Here’s why!

D hates Spinach dal. And… he has a good memory – especially of bad episodes. The first time I made this really simple dish, I added too much salt. The second time, maybe too much dal. And that’s it.. he wasn’t ready to take any more chances with Spinach dal and that was the end of it. That was a pretty bad deal for me.. cause, I simply love dal. So I’d keep trying to get him to agree to another attempt at the dish, but end up making Palak paneer or just about anything else with Spinach cause he was not feeling it at all. After a very long time, when I found myself with a pack of spinach and no paneer in the fridge, I asked D if he’d like some Spinach Dal.. before he could refuse, I sincerely told him I was going to try something different this time and it wouldn’t be like before. He reluctantly agreed. So that’s how I got my chance to redeem myself… and trust me, I really did not do much differently. Well, maybe just a little bit 🙂 Anyhow, what matters is that it was just right and he loved it. The ban’s over and Spinach Dal is very much an option when there’s spinach at home now… yayyy!!!

Before I forget what I did, lets get down to making a note of the recipe so you and I can both enjoy this awesome comfort food whenever we feel like it 🙂

Source: Adapted from my Punjabi nanny’s version of making any tadka

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6


  1. Moong dal (yellow split peas lentils) – 3/4 cup
  2. Spinach – 8oz pack or 1 bunch, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  3. Onion – 1 large, chopped fine
  4. Tomatoes – 2 large, diced
  5. Green chilies – 3 or to taste, slit
  6. Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced or crushed
  7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  8. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or to taste
  9. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Urad dal (broken skinless black lentil) – 1 tbsp
  11. Jeera (cumin) seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  12. Red chilies – 2
  13. Oil / Ghee – 2 tbsp


  1. Add the spinach and dal to a pressure cooker along with about 2 cups water and cook until fully done and mash-able. While the spinach & dal are cooking, get started with the masala.
  2. Heat the oil or ghee in a pan and add mustard, jeera, red chilies and urad seeds to it. Cook on med-high until mustard seeds crackle and urad turns golden brown.
  3. Add the onions and some salt to help it cook fast and saute until it starts turning golden brown all over.
  4. Add the garlic and turmeric powder and saute for a minute until garlic begins to turn golden brown.
  5. Add the tomatoes and green chilies and saute until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  6. Add the red chili powder and cook until oil begins to ooze from the masala mixture.
  7. When the spinach-dal has cooked (from step#1), mash it so the dal is fully mashed (some texture is alright).
  8. Add the dal and spinach mixture to the onion-tomato masala and add more water as needed to obtain the right consistency (I added 1/2 cup).
  9. Bring it to a boil, check for salt and add more if needed, and turn off the heat.
  10. Top it off with some butter/ ghee and it is ready to serve with rice or rotis.


  1. You can adjust the proportion of spinach to dal as per preference.
  2. You need not pressure cook the spinach with the dal, but instead add it to the onion-tomato paste after step #6 and cook it until it reduces down and gets fully cooked (do not use the lid while cooking to allow the steam from cooking the spinach to escape).
8 Responses to “Dal Palak / Spinach Dal / Lentils and Spinach Curry”
  1. Priti says:

    Awesome & simple, tried it & my family loved it!

  2. thanks for dropping by Vini 🙂 your food blog looks great!!

  3. vinicooksveg says:

    love palak dal! I make it often! But yours looks amazing!

  4. PoppyBhavan says:

    Best Balanced Diet,simple,yet delicious,especially done with love & Care as You always do.

  5. Pav says:

    Nice da..never tried spinach and moong dal..always do with toor dal..Will try this sometime 🙂

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