Dal Palak Recipe | Spinach Dal with Garlic | Lasooni Dal Palak

DAL PALAK – Indian Vegetarian Plant Based Protein Recipe with the goodness of spinach leaves. Easy lentils and spinach dal or stew that can double up as soup for the family on cold winter evenings. Absolute comfort food with some basmati rice, pickles and veg side.

Dal Palak Recipe | Spinach Dal with Garlic | Lasooni Dal Palak

Dal Palak or Spinach Dal with Garlic is an easy Indian Dal Recipe made with Toor Dal and fresh spinach leaves. Tempered with Garlic and Indian spices, this protein loaded lentil dish tastes amazing with Jeera Rice or Roti.

Spinach Dal with Garlic also known as Lasooni Dal or Lehsuni Dal Palak is one of my favourite dal recipes especially during winters when fresh palak is available.

Dal Palak is quite similar to the Palakkad Style Keerai Molagootal or the Tam Brahm style Keerai Kootu. However, these recipes contain coconut along with spinach and lentils.

If you like Dal with leafy vegetables, try this Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan (Sweet and Sour Maharashtrian Style Dal with Methi leaves).

Dal is vegetarian’s source of protein and served as part of a meal either with Indian breads like roti, paratha or JEERA RICE, PEAS PULAO etc. A bowl of dal is filling, healthy and hearty. Frankly when the dal is this good, I just end up drinking a bowl of it just like soup.

It takes about 30 minutes to put together a dal and if you are tired from working the whole day or want something simple, dal always comes to your rescue.

Simple tadka with ghee, some steamed rice, papad and pickle – you are sorted!

Before we get to the recipe, I have listed few tips below for beginners and bachelors who often find issues with dal texture while pressure cooking.

For first time cooks, bachelors or students living in dorm rooms, I have listed down details or tips to get that creamy dal texture.

Tips to Cook Dal in pressure cooker

  • It is most recommended to cook dal in pressure cooker rather than stove top because it is quite time consuming.
  • Always soak your dal or lentils for atleast 20 minutes. Drain all the water used for soaking and then cook with fresh water.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder to the dal before pressure cooking.
  • 1 cup of dal requires 1 & 1/2 cups of water for pressure cooking. If you have no time to soak, then increase the quantity of the water to 2 cups and couple of extra whistles in the pressure cooker to get that mushy texture.
  • Dal should be well cooked (atleast for such recipes). Always use a hand whisk and whisk the dal well before adding to the tempering etc.
  • Bachelors can bulk cook and freeze the dal for a week. Just remove portions of dal that you need, thaw it completely and then add masala / tempering as required. It is one of the efficient ways to save time and yet eat home made food.

How to Boil Dal, lentils or pulses without a cooker?

  • Soak, drain and then add fresh water to the soaked lentils. Place it in a wide vessel and cook on stove top. Do not close the lid. For 1 cup of lentils, add 3 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. Cook it on medium heat and keep checking the lentils in between.
  • For an ideal dal texture, the lentils should press completely when held between your thumb and index finger.
  • Whisk the dal well and proceed with the recipe. It will take anywhere between 30 to 40 minutes for the quantity as mentioned in our recipe to cook on stove top.
Dal Palak Recipe

Restaurant Style Dal Palak Recipe with Tips

  • For this particular dal recipe, I have used Toor Dal or Arhar Dal (Thuvaram Paruppu in Tamil and split pigeon peas in English). It is one of the most delicious and creamy lentils which makes it perfect for pairing with leafy vegetables.
  • You can use Masoor Dal (Red Lentils) and Yellow Moong Dal (split yellow lentils) for this recipe instead of Toor Dal.
  • The best part about this Dal Palak recipe is that it tastes exactly like RESTAURANT STYLE.
  • Finely chopped Garlic instead of paste. This is highly recommended for that flavor burst and the slow flavors it releases while cooking in oil.
  • The dal has been tempered twice. It can be easily avoided, if you don’t want excess oil or ghee in your meals but highly recommended to add the 2nd tempering just before serving dal to your family or guests. They will never forget this experience, trust me!

Dal Palak – Step by Step Instructions

Wash and Soak 1/2 cup Toor Dal for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the water.

Soaked Toor Dal

Add 1 & 1/2 cups of fresh water along with 1 cup of tightly packed chopped spinach leaves.

Palak and Dal ready to be pressure cooked

Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Pressure cook this for 3 to 4 whistles or until the lentils have cooked well. Note – It takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes for the lentils to cook in a pressure cooker.

Turmeric Powder and salt added to the dal while pressure cooking

Once cooked, mash them lightly and prepare for tempering.

Cooked toor dal and spinach ready for dal palak

Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp oil, mustard seeds, jeera and whole red chillies. Once mustard crackles, add finely chopped garlic and onion. Saute this until the onions and garlic have browned a little.

Add the cooked dal + spinach and mix well. Allow it to simmer for a few seconds. Check salt and once it reaches a boil, switch off the gas flame.

Onion and garlic sauteed in oil

Just before serving the dal, we add another tempering with ghee. This step is not mandatory and can be skipped but highly recommended especially for that restaurant style dal experience.

Heat a pan, add 2 tsp ghee, some mustard seeds, jeera, whole red chillies, a pinch of hing or asafoetida. Once the mustard crackles, add a pinch of kashmiri red chilli powder and immediately switch off the flame. Pour this tempering over the dal just before serving.

Final tempering for dal palak recipe

Recipe Notes

  • Kashmiri Red Chilli powder is added to the final tempering only for the colour. It will not be spicy in taste. Add it only after the mustard crackles and switch off the flame immediately to avoid burning. It will spoil the taste.
  • The Dal stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 days. Can be reheated in a microwave and served with rice or roti.
  • Leftovers of this dal can be added to whole wheat flour and kneaded into dal parathas for breakfast the next day.
  • Skip hing or asafoetida for a gluten free recipe.
  • For a vegan recipe, skip the ghee and add oil for the 2nd tempering.
Dal Palak Recipe | Spinach Dal with Garlic | Lasooni Dal Palak

Dal Palak Recipe | Spinach Dal with Garlic | Lasooni Dal Palak

Vidya Narayan
Dal Palak or Spinach Dal with Garlic is an easy Indian Dal Recipe made with Toor Dal and fresh spinach leaves. Tempered with Garlic and Indian spices, this protein loaded lentil dish tastes amazing with Jeera Rice or Indian Breads like Roti, Paratha.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Soaking time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, north indian
Servings 3 people

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the Dal (1 cup is 250ml, 1 tbsp is 15 ml and 1 tsp is 5 ml)

  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal (Arhar Dal or Thuvaram Paruppu)
  • 1 cup Spinach (Finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to cook the lentils

Ingredients for the 1st Tempering

  • 1/2 cup Onions finely chopped 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • 10 nos. Garlic Cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

Ingredients for Final Tempering

  • 2 tsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 2 nos. Whole dry red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder
  • A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

Instructions
 

  • Wash and Soak 1/2 cup Toor Dal for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the water.
  • Add 1 & 1/2 cups of fresh water along with 1 cup of tightly packed chopped spinach leaves.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Pressure cook this for 3 to 4 whistles or until the lentils have cooked well.
  • Once cooked, mash them lightly and prepare for tempering.
  • Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp oil, mustard seeds, jeera and whole red chillies. Once mustard crackles, add finely chopped garlic and onion. Saute this until the onions and garlic have browned a little.
  • Add the cooked dal + spinach and mix well. Allow it to simmer for a few seconds. Check salt and once it reaches a boil, switch off the gas flame.
  • For the 2nd tempering (just before serving), heat a pan, add 2 tsp ghee, some mustard seeds, jeera, whole red chillies, a pinch of hing or asafoetida.
  • Once the mustard crackles, add a pinch of kashmiri red chilli powder and immediately switch off the flame. Pour this tempering over the dal just before serving.

Notes

  1. Kashmiri Red Chilli powder is added to the final tempering only for the colour. It will not be spicy in taste. Add it only after the mustard crackles and switch off the flame immediately to avoid burning. It will spoil the taste.
  2. The Dal stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 days. Can be reheated in a microwave and served with rice or roti.
  3. Leftovers of this dal can be added to whole wheat flour and kneaded into dal parathas for breakfast the next day.
  4. Skip hing or asafoetida for a gluten free recipe.
  5. For a vegan recipe, skip the ghee and add oil instead for the 2nd tempering.
Keyword Dal Palak Recipe, Lasooni dal Palak
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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

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