Lentils are an important part of Indian diet.Now they have become popular on an international level as well.There is no country which has not been introduced to our humble “Daal – Chawal” and has not liked it.Here I am making a very nutritious and tasty Dal which is mixed with Spinach(Palak) to create an awesome healthy combo great with rice or roti.
1/2 cup Chilkewali Mung Dal
1 bunch fresh spinach leaves – washed and drip dried
3-4 garlic cloves – finely chopped(optional)
1 inch piece ginger – finely chopped/grated
1 onion – finely chopped(optional)
1 tomato – diced
2 green chilies – minced
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder(Haldi)
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Cumin Seeds(jeera)
1-2 dried red chilies
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp oil/1/2 tbsp oil+1/2 tbsp ghee
Soak the dal in water for about 2 hours.After 2 hours it will swell as the husk absorbs the water.Chop spinach into medium size flaps-as you want their flavor over the dal. Remember to include the stems as well as they give all the flavor.
Now in a Pressure Cooker put the Dal,Spinach,salt,turmeric and chili powders.Pressure cook for approx 4 whistles or 5-7 minutes till Dal and Spinach are tender.
In the meantime finely chop the onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic and green chilies.Heat oil or oil+ghee in a pan.Add cumin seeds,dried red chilies and asafoetida. Add green chilies and garlic(if using) till the green chilies turn a little whitish and garlic starts to emit its aroma(please ensure it does not brown).Add the onions and fry till transparent.Add the tomato as well and continue to fry for 2 minutes.Now add the pressure cooked Dal and Spinach.Mix well to let everything incorporate nicely.Check here for salt.
Cover the pot and let it cook for around 10 minutes till all flavors have amalgamated and the Dal is finally cooked.Serve hot with phulkas,roti or rice.I have served it with steamed rice and roasted papads.
1.People not savoring onion and garlic can exclude them from the dish.Tomatoes can also be excluded.Just fry chilies and add the dal-spinach mix.
2.A little more water can be added and the mixture boiled to make a nice lentil-spinach soup.You can strain the soup and use the residue for stuffing Paranthas.
Dal Palak with rice..