Dal palak recipe or spinach dal is a simple recipe of lentils cooked with Indian palak or spinach and then tempered with basic spices. This dal palak is quick to make and doesn't need a lot of ingredients. Serve it with rice or roti. Instructions for stovetop & instant pot included.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.
Add dal to a bowl or pot. Rinse it very well a few times until water runs clear.
If using tomato, chop it and add to the dal.
Pour 1¼ cups water and cook in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles on a medium heat. You can also cook the dal in a pot adding more water as needed until they soften.
If using instant pot, place the bowl and pressure cook for 8 to 9 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 dried 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 until the leaves wilt.
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 softens. Add kasuri methi (optional) and switch off when spinach dal reaches the desired consistency.
When the spinach dal cools down slightly, add lemon juice and mix. Serve dal palak with rice or roti.
Instant pot spinach dal
Press SAUTE button on the Instant pot and pour ghee to the steel insert.
Add cumin, dried red chilies and green chilies. When the cumin seeds splutter, add tomatoes (optional) and saute for 1 minute.
Then add dal, turmeric and salt. If you prefer to use chilli powder as a substitute to green chilies, add it now.
Press CANCEL button. Pour 1¾ cups water and deglaze with a wooden spatula to release any bits of food stuck at the bottom.
Optionally you can also place a trivet and keep your rice bowl over it & cover.
Secure the Instant pot with the lid. Press PRESSURE COOK button (high pressure) and set the timer to 10 mins.
When the dal palak is done, IP will beep. Wait for the natural pressure release for at least 15 mins. Release the rest manually. Remove the rice bowl.
Add the chopped spinach to the dal and give a good mix. Press SAUTE button and cook for 2 mins. Palak will just take 2 mins to cook. If needed you may add another ¼ cup hot water to adjust the consistency.
Press CANCEL and sprinkle kasuri methi (optional). Cover the IP until you serve. This helps spinach to cook completely with the residual heat in the IP.
Taste test and add more salt if needed. When the spinach dal cools a bit, add lemon juice. Serve with rice or roti.