Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sour Lentil Spinach (Dal Palak)

Sour Lentil Spinach (Dal Palak)

I am quite sure most women, especially Indian women, will remember their first few days in the kitchen after their marriage. As they say, best way to man’s heart is his stomach and most try to go straight in. I have very often heard that most women never got to or had to cook in their parent’s place. So it is quite an experience finding what the man likes and cooking ‘exactly’ like how his mother makes it. My experience was not very different but had some twists. As we were in different cities, the only chance I got to cook for my husband was over the weekends. I was quite concerned about his health and wanted to get as much healthy stuff as possible in the two days I was around. I used to go to the vegetable shop (even before they open in the morning) and buy fresh vegetables and have a planned menu. I was quite slow in the kitchen then and having a counter one foot wide and two feet long with few gadgets sitting on it did not help at all. It took forever to cook a meal. Anyway, one of the dishes that I made from my own imagination was this spinach recipe. To be honest, it is nothing great or novel but back then, I was a novice and was not into ‘googling’ recipes so was chuffed by the results. Anyway, here is how I did it. If you are a soup lover, just blend this in a food processor and enjoy as a soup. If like me, enjoy with rice or roti.

1 bag of spinach (about 300-500grams)
Juice of one lime
¼ cup toor dal, cooked (you could use red lentil or even split yellow peas)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit
Asafoetida and turmeric powder (optional)
Salt to taste
Less than a teaspoon cooking oil
Chop the spinach coarsely and add couple of tablespoon of water. Cook until the spinach is half done.

Add the green chillies, asafoetida and turmeric powder

Cook until the spinach has reduced well and add the cooked dal and add required salt. Simmer for couple of minutes

Heat little oil and add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Add the same to the spinach.

Once off the flame, add the lime juice and mix well.


I usually use left over dal for this dish as it does not really need much dal. However, it is good for vegetarians, especially, because it is a good source of protein. What a healthy combo of spinach and dal!

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