Dal palak recipe or spinach dal with video & step by step photos. Healthy, delicious and one of the most made palak recipes in Indian homes. Dal palak is lentils cooked with spinach & tempered with basic Indian spices. It is made in almost all regions of India with slight variations. This simple protein rich dal palak is served with plain rice, chapati/ roti or different kinds of bhakri.
Dal palak tastes best when made with basic ingredients otherwise the buttery taste & flavor of palak is lost. However it depends on individual tastes & preferences.
Tempering it in desi ghee or butter enhances the flavor and aroma of the dish.
To make dal palak, I have used toor dal – split pigeon peas and moong dal – split, skinned mung beans. You can use any lentils that you prefer.
Preparing palak for any palak recipe: Fill a large pot with water. Pluck each palak leaf and check for infestations etc. Add them to the pot.
Allow them to rest for 3 to 5 mins. Repeat the rinse. I usually spray vinegar over palak & leave for a white.
Then add a handful of crystal salt to the pot of water. Drain them to a colander. Chop as desired.
Simple dal palak recipe
Dal palak recipe | Spinach dal | How to make dal palak
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for dal palak
- ½ cup dal or lentils ( I use ¼ cup toor dal & ¼ cup moong dal)
- 1 ¼ cup water or as needed to cook dal
- 1 tomato (medium, chopped (optional))
- 2 cups palak (or spinach chopped) (use as desired)
- 1 ½ to 2 tbsps ghee or butter
- ¾ tsp cumin or jeera
- 1 red chilli (large, broken)
- 1 tsp ginger ( or garlic or both chopped or grated)
- 1 to 2 green chilies chopped
- 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- Salt as needed
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice or amchur / dry mango powder as needed
How to make the recipe
Preparation for spinach dal
- Add dal to a bowl or pot and rinse it very well a few times until water runs clear.
- If using tomato you can chop it and add it.
- Pour 1¼ cups water and cook in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles on a medium heat.
- You can also cook the dal a pot until they soften.
- If using instant pot, place the bowl and pressure cook for 8 mins.
- When the pressure releases naturally, remove the dal and mash it to suit your liking.
How to make dal palak
- Heat a pot with ghee or butter. Add cumin and red chilies.
- When the cumin begins to splutter add ginger, garlic and green chilies.
- Saute well for a min. Add hing.
- Transfer chopped palak or spinach. Saute for 3 to 4 mins on a medium heat.
- Add cooked dal, salt and turmeric. Mix and check the consistency. If needed pour some water.
- Next mix well and cook on a medium heat until palak wilts completely.
- Switch off when spinach dal reaches the desired consistency.
- Add lemon juice and mix. Serve dal palak with rice or roti.
Video of dal palak recipe
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for dal palak recipe
1. Wash dal few times until the water runs clear. You can soak it for about 15 mins to 1 hour. I use toor dal and moong dal in equal proportions. You can use any kind of dal you prefer.
The taste of dal palak enhances with the use of moong dal, even a little is enough. If using tomato you can chop it and add it to the pot or pan now.
2. Pour enough water and pressure cook on a medium heat for 2 whistles.
3. Dal must be soft cooked. I prefer to mash the dal. You can also skip mashing.
4. Heat ghee in a kadai/ pan. Add cumin and red chilies.
5. When they begin to crackle, add ginger garlic and green chilies. We are not using red chilli powder in this recipe so use enough green chilies for the heat. Saute just for a minute and add hing.
6. Add chopped spinach/ palak. You can use more or less to suit your taste.
7. Saute for 3 to 4 mins on a medium heat.
How to make dal palak
8. Add cooked dal, turmeric and salt. Mix well.
9. Pour water as needed.
10. Bring it to a consistency and cook until the spinach wilts completely. Palak doesn’t require long cooking, so a few minutes will be good enough. If you like to use amchur you can add it at this stage.
11. When it reaches the desired consistency, switch off the stove. Squeeze in lemon juice if you have not used amchur. If you have used oil for tempering, add a tbsp of ghee now.
Serve dal palak with rice or roti.