Keeping a resolution

January 9, 2007




dhal-palak.jpgWith the meme completed, I have turned my attention to more important things. Like keeping my New Years’ resolution.

As promised, I have started trawling the blogosphere for easy Indian recipes to try out and then write about.

My first port of call was Asha, who writes about food and life. She has been married for more than twenty years and you can almost picture her smiling when you read her blogs. A winner if I can spot one.

The recipe I chose was for a North Indian spinach and lentils or dhal palak. The interesting thing here is that while most dhals are soupy in texture (some thicker than others), this dish is more like a vegetable side. It would be lovely with thick bread or as an accompaniment to pork chops.

I made some small adjustments to Asha’s recipe to make it quicker. I used ready frozen chopped spinach because I always have some in the freezer and it can be a healthier option. I also didn’t use mustard seeds and curry leaves in the tempering or tarka because I didn’t think the dish needed it and because these ingredients aren’t commonly used in North Indian cooking.

Once I’d cooked it, I was bowled over. This recipe should have come with a warning – it is seriously moreish. Especially in this cold weather.

Serves 4:

400 gms frozen spinach, cooked in the microwave
125 gm toor lentils
125 gms channa lentils
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
1 large onion, chopped
1 large tomato, quartered
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cummin powder
Half tsp chilli powder
Half tsp garam masala
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp ghee
2 whole red chillies
1 tsp cummin seeds

Wash the lentils thoroughly, fill a pot with water and bring the lentils to a boil. Keep boiling gently to cook them until soft but not mushy.

In the meantime, heat the sunflower oil. Fry the onions until brown and then add the ginger and garlic, dry spices and tomato. Fry untilthe mixture or masala do not smell raw and pungent.

Add the spinach,along with any melted water when it cooked and simmer on a medium flame. When the lentils are soft, add them to the spinach mixture and cook for another 15 minutes until the lentils start losing their shape. You may need to add some water to help them cook.

When the lentils start reaching the right consistency, heat the ghee in a small pan and make the tempering or tarka. When the ghee is hot add the cummin seeds and the whole red chillies. They will sizzle up, and as they do, pour the tarka into the spinach and lentil mixture.

Add salt to taste. Voila!



15 Responses to “Keeping a resolution”

  1. Mallika Says:

    October 16th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Smita, toor dal is split pigeon peas, it’s sort of deep yellow in colour.

  2. Smita Says:

    September 19th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    what are toor lentils? Is it toor dal or black or red lentils?

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  7. Says:

    February 10th, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Due to the bad weather obtaining worse, i think difficulties such as this will be even more typical.

  8. jules Says:

    January 21st, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    yum. these sound amazing. am really glad you’re keeping your resolution.

  9. Mangs Says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    toor=sambhar daal, big and yellow.
    chana=small and yellow.
    red daal=?
    i vote daal post on the basics section!!

  10. Mallika Says:

    January 10th, 2007 at 10:10 am

    This is v embarrassing Asha, but I got home late yesterday. My hubby had cooked pasta but I ate the remainder of the dhal palak instead… on its own. Thanks so much for a great recipe that I will certainly cook more of in the future…

  11. Asha Says:

    January 10th, 2007 at 6:57 am

    Hey! Thanks Mallika!!:)) This is a surprise,a pleasant one indeed and I am smiling!:D

    I agree abt mustard and curry leaves!Being a pakka southie,I can’t resist adding those to everything!:D:D

    It’s a substantial comfort food,great for winter.Enjoy!

  12. sandeepa Says:

    January 10th, 2007 at 6:21 am

    Hey Mallika great looking dal, perfect even for a party
    You know what I had seen Sanjeev Kapoor prepare Dal Palak once with Musuri’r Dal (which I think is a Bong favorite) and since then I try to make Musuri’r Dal with all sorts of green leafy things. I also go low on the ginger and the masala, the dal as a result is good for everyday food but not much of a party dish.

  13. Prachi Bhuchar Says:

    January 10th, 2007 at 3:45 am

    hey–happy new year!! Are you by any chance in cal? and do you have a contact for alka? in town and wanted to catch up. BTW am totally going to try this recipe the moment i head back to singlehood in delhi!!

  14. Trupti Says:

    January 9th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    This looks great……I usually leave out the onions and add garlic – LOTS of it….This goes perfect with some tandoori rotis..


  15. Garrett Says:

    January 9th, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Since the lentil iron chef battle I’ve been itching to make something with lentils. This might just be it if I have time this week!

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