Monday, October 20, 2014

Recipe: Spinach Dal

Spinach Dal is one of the healthiest recipes to come out of the Indian subcontinent. This dish is packed with superfoods like spinach, lentils, onions, tomatoes, and has minimal oil. I like to use Moong Dal because it has a more hearty flavour that parallels the spinach. We make this dish at least twice per week! It goes with absolutely everything.

Madh Mama's Spinach Dal

Serves 4-6 people


- 1 cup Moong Dal
- 1 onion
- 2 tomatoes
- 1.5 cups spinach
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder 
- 1 tsp salt

For tempering:
- 2 tbsp oil (sunflower or peanut oil)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- pinch of asefoetida

- pressure cooker
- small omelette pan


Wash the dal and drain it.

Chop the onions and tomatoes.

Add the dal, onions, tomatoes, spinach, ginger paste, chilli powder (1/4 tsp), turmeric, and 3.5 cups of water into the pressure cooker.

Put the pressure cooker on the stove and switch it up to medium-high heat. Wait until the pressure cooker gives 5 LONG whistles and then take it off the heat and let it cool down for 20 minutes.

Then, take the lid off the pressure cooker, stir, and place on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Add salt.

You can add up to 2 cups of water at this point, if you would like the dal more watery.

Mash the boiling dal every few minutes, for a total of 10 minutes.

For the tempering, put oil in the omelette pan on medium heat.

Put the cumin in the oil and when it starts to brown, add the garlic paste and stir. Be very careful not to burn the garlic. 

Take the omelette pan OFF the heat and add the chilli powder (1/4 tsp), asefoetida, and garam masala and stir it in.

Then, pour this mixture into the boiling dal and give it a big stir.  

And voila!

 Spinach Dal can be eaten as a soup, or with rice/roti and it goes with any vegetable side dish (such as Aloo Jeera or Carrots Poriyal).



  1. Thanks for the recipe Alexandra! I am always looking for healthy recipes using spinach and this one fits the bill. Looks delicious too! One friendly tip: I see that you are using an aluminium pressure cooker. I would recommend switching to a stainless steel pressure cooker, especially when cooking directly in the cooker. Of late, there have been concerns of aluminium leaching into food and the linkage of aluminium to Alzhiemers. I recently purchased a stainless steel pressure cooker and am very happy with it. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I will pick one out the next time I go to the Indian grocer ;)

  2. Yum! My family is so against anything "new" my MIL will only eat the same foods cooked the same way all the time, fortunately my kids are far more flexible and my hubby will sometimes try if he is in the mood, palak is in season right now and soooooooooooo good, I'm going to cook up some dal right now, thanks for sharing <3

    1. Let me know how it turns out! Maybe you can get your MIL hooked on a new favorite!

  3. So I don't have a pressure cooker, how long do you think (roughly) would I need to boil the lentils and other ingredients? And what is asefoetida? Lol. Thanks =)

    1. Asafoetida is a resin from a plant which is sold as blocks or powdered and dried (easier to use packs) remember mum heating the huge block and then crushing it in a mortar pestle. :P
      If you dont have a pressure cooker, microwave the lentils after soaking them for atleast 5 hrs for 15 20 mins. You will see the membrane crack , then transfer to a pan on the stove n cook with lid for another 30 min. You can also do this in a electric rice cooker or crock pot.

    2. asefoetida is something you can get at the Indian grocer.

      pressure cooker chart -

    3. And yes, you can cook dal in a slow-cooker or rice cooker

  4. Alexandra I love your recipes. If you can would you share the lentil soup recipe? My husband loves this dish, once I prepared it but I lost the recipe and I would love to try your version.

    Thanks and have an excellent week

    1. Sure, I will be sharing more dal recipes in the upcoming weeks :)

  5. hi alexandra, try mixing toor dal and moong dal in 1:2 ratio. it tastes yummier. And to cook toor dal without a pressure cooker soak them overnight and microwave for 20 min on max power then cook in a pan for 30 min. it shud be done.

  6. That looks really nice ! (Padparadscha)

    1. Thank you :) It is my new fave!

    2. I love the way you present your recipes, the pictures are beautiful, and the instructions very clear. Maybe you could do a recipe book one day. I find many western books on Indian food are a pain (Padparadscha).


Respectful comments only, please! (That means you, anonymous.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Madh Mama. All rights reserved.