palakura pappu

Palakura pappu recipe

By Swasthi on August 7, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Palakura pappu recipe – Learn to make healthy spinach and dal curry.
While using any leafy green like palakura, menthi kura, gongura, I don’t prefer pressure cooking them since they get overcooked & most of the flavor is lost.

palakura pappu swasthis recipes

When it comes to making a pappu for meal, I always prefer to make a smooth and creamy dal like sorakaya pappu, mamidikaya pappu or tomato pappu, where all the ingredients can be dumped to cook in the pressure cooker and later tempered.

While making spinach or any leafy greens with dal like gongura pappu, I don’t prefer to overcook them which often happens by pressure cooking. So I just add them to the cooked dal to retain the nutrients and taste.

In Telugu palakura is the name for spinach or palak and pappu is dal. This Andhra style dal can be prepared in many ways. I am sharing 2 methods in this post.

The first method yields a soupy dal. The second method yields a semi dry pappu and just takes 20 mins. This spinach dal can be refrigerated for later use too and stays good for 2 days. It is usually served with rice and pickle. It can be relished with chapathi and a bowl of vegetable salad too.

I have not used onions and tomatoes in the recipe. You can use them if you like. I have included the steps in the instructions.

The chilies that you see in the last picture below are the curd chilies (majjiga mirapakayalu) which are often used in South India along with papadams. I fry them along with the tadka and add to the dal and use some for garnishing.

More Palak recipes
Spinach curry
palak rice
spinach omelette
palak pakoda

How to make palakura pappu

1. Soak tamarind in little hot water. Set aside. Wash and cook 3/4 cup pappu/ dal with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. If cooking in a pot cook till soft. Mash the dal to smooth, if you like. You can cook tomatoes, onions, chilies along with the dal if using or can be added at the next step.

cook dal till smooth for palakura pappu

2. While the dal cooks, pluck spinach leaves with out stems. Wash them in lot of water several times. Drain them. Chop and add them to the dal along with little more water. If you like to add tomato, chili and onion add it now if you have not added in step 1. Cook on a medium flame.

add chopped spinach for palakura pappu

3. When the spinach is cooked completely, it looks wilted and blends well with dal. Add salt and turmeric. Stir and mix well.

adding salt to cook palakura pappu


4. Heat ghee or oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin. When they splutter, add curry leaves, chili and garlic. You can add chili now, if you have not added at step 2. Add hing. Pour the tamarind juice to the pan. Switch off the stove.

seasoning curry leaves cumin in ghee for palakura pappu

5. Pour the thalimpu/seasoning to the dal. Mix and stir. Some people like to cook further for few minutes but I don’t.

garnishing palakura pappu with tempered ingredients

Palakaura pappu is ready to serve with chapathi or rice.

serve palakura pappu with rice

Palakura pappu recipe


palakura pappu

Palakura pappu is a simple andhra style lentil dish cooked with indian spinach and tempered with spices. This is usually served with rice or chapati. In this post I have shared 2 methods to make palakura pappu. The first one is the traditional method made by pressure cooking. The second one is the dry palakura pappu which is cooked in a pan or pot with moong dal.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 bunch Indian spinach (palakura or palak)
  • ½ cup dal or pappu (any lentils) (kandhi pappu or pesarapappu)
  • cup water (¾ cup for dry version)
  • 1 to 2 green chili slit
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp tamarind or lemon juice


  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 pinch mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
  • 1 Pinch hing or asafoetida (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 6 curd chilies optional


Method 1 – pressure cooking

  • Pluck the spinach leaves and check them for worms. Rinse them well in a large pot filled with water. Repeat rinsing a few times. Drain the leaves completely and chop finely.
  • Add dal to a bowl or cooker and wash it a few times until water runs clear. Pour 1¼ cups water, green chilli, chopped spinach & tamarind. Cover it. You can also skip adding spinach now and add it once the dal is cooked completely.
  • If making it in a bowl, place it in the cooker and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles on a medium flame. If cooking directly in the cooker, then pressure cook for just 2 whistles.
  • When the pressure releases, mash the dal and add salt and turmeric. Mix well. Pour ghee to a small tadka pan and heat it. Add cumin, mustard, red chili and garlic. When the spices splutter add curry leaves and hing. Pour this to the cooked palakura pappu.

Method 2 – open pot method.

  • Rinse dal in a pot and pour ¾ cup water. Cook it on a medium flame until it is almost cooked but not mushy. You can also add in tomatoes and green chilies if you like. 
  • While the dal cooks, clean the spinach. Pluck the leaves and discard the stems. I usually open up the leaves and inspect them for larvae or worms. Wash thoroughly multiple times in a large utensil filled with water to remove mud.
  • Chop or tear the leaves which ever you prefer to. When the dal is fully cooked but not mushy, add the spinach and salt. Mix well.
  • While the spinach cooks, heat a small pan with ghee or oil. Add the curd chilies, fry till they turn crispy. Set these aside to prevent burning.
  • Next add mustard, cumin, garlic, red chili when they begin to splutter add curry leaves. Add turmeric and hing.
  • Check if the spinach is cooked, then pour the seasoning to the dal. You can add the curd chilies or you can save them aside for garnish. Mix, cover and off the stove.
  • Palakura pappu is ready to serve with rice or phulka. Squeeze in some lemon juice while serving.


If you plan to refrigerate, cool it immediately and store it in airtight box, refrigerate. Stays good for 48 hours.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
palakura pappu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 263 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Sodium 112mg5%
Potassium 458mg13%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 15g63%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 19.4mg24%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 3.7mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

dry spinach dal recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi, first of all
Thq fr the yummy receipe’s.. Have you posted thotakurra (amaranth leaves) recipes.. I have been searxhing but couldn’t find…

5 stars
love your recipes swasthi! simple and tasty recipes! life saving recipes !

Superrr I like this recipe very. Much

Really yummy n v tasty, came out well. Thanks

Comfort dish,looks yummy

Moong dal palak with fried chillies. perfect combo.

mind blowing clicks.. looks too yummy:)

Flavorful dal…….. Very healthy too!

Protein ric n iron rich bookmarked swasthi

Nice healthy dal. What kind of those red chilli are?

Linsy, those are fried curd chilies

Yummy, tasty curry. We too make it by adding coconut paste.