Palak Toor Dal: Spinach with Lentils

22 Jun

Palak toor dal (spinach with yellow pigeon pea lentils) has everything your nutritionist would give the nod to – and your palate would agree. Proteins, minerals, iron, and great taste!

Palak Toor Dal: Spinach with Lentils

You Need:

  • Spinach – 1 large bunch
  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Green chilies – 3 (adjust to taste)
  • Tomatoes – 3
  • Onion – 1
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Curry leaves – a few sprigs
  • Tamarind – a tiny ball
  • Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon – 1/2
  • Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing

How To Make Palak Toor Dal:

Wash the spinach thoroughly. Chop finely.

Wash toor dal in several changes of water, till the water runs clear. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain.

Chop green chilies and tomatoes. Peel and crush garlic cloves.

In a pressure cooker, take the soaked toor dal, chopped tomatoes, green chilies, crushed garlic, half the curry leaves, and all of the chopped spinach. Pluck the tamarind ball into small bits and place it in. Sprinkle turmeric powder.

Spinach Toor Dal Ingredients

Stir in 3 cups of water.

Close the lid of pressure cooker and cook on high heat till one whistle. Lower heat, and continue to cook till another 2 whistles (3 whistles depending on the size/make of the cooker).

Allow the cooker to cool till the lid can be taken off without force. Meanwhile, chop the onions.

Fried Onions Heat a tablespoon of oil. When very hot, add to the oil cumin seeds, mustard seeds and let them splutter. Follow with curry leaves and chopped onions. Fry on medium-high heat, till the onions are translucent. Switch off the heat.

The cooker would have cooled enough by now. Take the lid off, sprinkle salt, and use a meddler to mash the boiled spinach toor dal.

Pour the fried onions into the dal. Stir.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Serve palak toor dal hot with boiled rice and raita, and a side dish such as bitter gourd crisps or plantain fry.

Spinach Toor Dal


I prefer the spinach:dal ratio to be heavy on the spinach side. Feel free to vary the quantities as you like.

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