Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rumbaa Tasty - Palak Dal (Spinach lentil soup)

Spinach is one vegetable that I like in any form. May it be in Palak paneer, paratha or even salad for that matter. In my household, Spinach would be made almost every week. We 3 sisters just loved it and our favorite used to be the palak daal aka Spinach lentil soup. I started cooking when I was in my final year engineering, that goes back in the year 2005. I used to stay with my friends and we shared an apartment. My friends had never heard about Palak daal till then and when I made it for them the first time, they all fell in love with it. Till date, we all cherish the memories of staying together and eating together. Its this one recipe, my blog would be incomplete without..

To serve four, you will need:

1 medium bowl of chopped spinach
2 medium sized tomatoes diced
1 cup arhar daal/tur daal/ yellow split lentils
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 or 2 dried red chillies (optional)
curry leaves (optional)
3 to 4 garlic petals (Optional)
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups water
Salt to taste

To make spinach daal, first soak a cup of lentils in water while you make rest of the ingredients ready. To save time, I usually do the sauteing in the pressure cooker itself.  In the pressure pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter,  add curry leaves and the whole red chillies. At this point, you may add mashed garlic petals (best way to do is using the mortar and pestle). It gives a very good flavor to the daal. Its optional and it is perfectly alright f you do not use it. Then add the diced tomatoes and chopped spinach. Cook it for around 10 seconds. Add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder,the lentils and salt, and mix it all well. Now add water and put on the lid. After 2 pressure cooker whistles on high flame and 2 whistles on low flame, switch off the flame. Once your kitchen is filled with a beautiful aroma,  you know the daal is ready. Wait till the pressure cooker cools down. Open the lid, mix the daal well so that its slightly mashed up.  Spinach daal is ready to be served.

Spinach Daal goes excellent with roti, paratha, bhakri (bread made out of jowar/bajra flour) or rice. If you are having it with roti or paratha, the best way to have it is, make small pieces of the roti, soak it all in daal for a minute or two, top it with a generous serving of ghee (clear butter), mix it all well and then have it. Trust me, its heavenly. I even eat it like soup. During college days, we used to eat it with bread toasted in lots of butter (Amul butter for that matter - utterly butterly delicious!)..Yummy! Do try it..its an excellent dish, really mouth watering and as a friend of mine would say after a mouthful -"ummm..Rumbaa tasty !!!"

my meal today-spinach daal,brown rice and papad! yumm!


  1. Reva i do like dal palak,bt reading ur blog n looking at the picsmakes me feel as thou this is my most fav dish..:)

  2. @Nitya and @Achala - Thanks girls! Achala, its you I was thinking of when I wrote this post. The "Rumba tasty" friend is you dear!