lentils · Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Daal Palakwali

This is going to be what looks like my last post from here in California. Yes, we are moving and dear God help me, to the mid-west. I do not what to go into the snow, the cold and  snow shovelling, the slush and the salt and grit in your boots and not to mention the friends I leave behind. This also means no more wearing ballerinas year round. Where I stay now, winter means a jumper or a sweatshirt. I am so sad and depressed I do not even what to talk about it. Anyhow, you have got to do what you have got to do. In hindi there is a saying jaahan daana pani, whain ghar hotha hai (the place that pays your bills and brings food to the table is your home , well something like that).


To get my mind of this whole movement thing, I decided to cook. Daal or lentils or pulses are and integral part of an Indian meal and Indian diet. We have innumerable types of daal with countless combinations. From virtually boiled to super spicy we have everything on the menu. This particular daal that I made was unique, in the sense I have never really combind split black lentils and spinach. The concoction was new to me. In Bengal we normally cook split black lentils with fennel and ginger so this flavour is something totally different.  I picked up this recipe from 101 cookbooks blog and made some changes of my own. I have made this daal a number of times and P simply loves it. I love this daal for its flavour and the rich texture. The best thing about this recipe is that it is satvik. Which means no garlic and onion and it is strictly vegetarian.


Daal Palakwali- Basic recipe 101 cookbook with my own inputs


  • Split black lentils ( Urad daal)- 3/4 cup picked and washed
  • Spinach- 350 gms (12 oz)
  • Ginger- 1.5 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes-3 large chopped
  • Green chiliies
  • Turmeric- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • amchoor powder (dry mango powder )

For Tempering

  • Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida (hing) 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dry red chillies
  • Red chili powder- 1 teaspoon
  • lime juice
  • Clarified Butter- 2 table spoon



  • First pick and clean the lentil and then soak it for about 45 mins. Next take a heavy bottom pan or a dutch oven. Fill half the pot with water and bring it to boil.
  • Once the water is bubbling add the lentils along with the tomatoes, green chilies, turmeric salt and amchoor powder. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
  • Now half way through the boiling process remove  the lid and stir the pot and add the spinach. Now cover the pot and continue to simmer the lentils. This process can be done in a pressure cooker,you would need to cook for 2 whistles and another 5-7 mins before turing of the heat and let the pressure escape naturally. In case you decide to use the pressure cooker add all the ingredients including spinach into the cooker.
  • Now for the tempering. Heat 2 table spoons of clarified butter or incase you prefer to go vegan then you could use oil. Once the ghee is hot and sizzling add the dry red chilies, asafoetida and cumin ( in that order ) as the spices begin to sizzle add the red chilli powder. Immediately, remove from the flame and add it to the boiled lentils. Stir the spices into the daal and bring it to boil over medium heat.  Also at this point you may want to check your seasoning. Leave it to rest for about 15-20 mins and just before serving add fresh lime juice and if you are not so calorie conscious then a table spoon of clarified butter .




  • Depending on the quality of the lentil the boiling/simmering time will vary.
  • Also you may need to add or reduce the water in the lentil depending upon the consistency you would prefer.
  • I served the daal with fresh homemade chapatis.









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