Palak Dal (Spinach lentil stew)

  • recipe image cover
  • recipe image cover
  • recipe image cover





Palak Dal is lentil stew with spinach. It is one of the staple south Indian foods. It is best served with rice.

Servings 8-10, Cooking time: 30 mins


Pressure cook toor dal with 4 cups of water, salt, and turmeric for 4 whistles.  ( For cooking without pressure cooker – place dal, water, salt and turmeric and bring it boil until the dal is soft)

Do the following as while the dal is cooking:

Grind/Blend 4 green chilies, 4 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp jeera (cumin) into paste. In a separate pot mix this green chili paste with tamarind paste, onion, turmeric powder, jeera powder, spinach – mix and stir them well then turn on the stove in medium heat – cover it with lid – cook for 5 minutes

Let off the steam from pressure cooker. Transfer the cooked dal to the cooking pot with the other ingredients stir them well. Let the whole thing cook for another 5-7 mins. Add salt and stir.

For tempering – dry roast red chili, ¼ tsp jeera, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, 12-14 curry leaves and 1/8 tsp hing for 2 mins. Combine this tempered mixture into dal.

Serve the dal with brown rice.

Hint: In some parts of the world (like where we live) curry leaves are not readily available. They are can be skipped if they are not available.


1 cup (or 200gms) of toor dal (yellow lentils), orange lentils can be used if yellow lentils are not available.
3-4 cups of chopped spinach (7 -8 ounces or 200 grams)
4 cups of water
1/8th teaspoon turmeric
4 green chillies
4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon jeera
1/2 Tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 of onion, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon jeera powder
1 teaspoon of salt
For tempering the dal
2 dry red chili
1/4 teaspoon jeera (cumin)
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
12-14 curry leaves
1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)