Dal Palak ( Spinach cooked with Yellow Lentils with infused garlic flavour)

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Today's recipe is for those who are looking for taste and health both in one dish. It's Dal Palak. Many call it as Palak Dal- Spinach and Lentil soup. During my childhood, I never used to like this dish. But now somehow my taste changed and I started liking it. I love the infused garlic flavour from the dish. It can also be called as dhaba style Dal Palak Fry.  Dhabas are a small food joints which you will find on Indian highways and road side. And dal fry is very common at almost all the dhabas of northern region of India. I always think that what is that one thing that makes different from dhaba style food and home cooked food. Then I think one thing that makes difference is the environment and atmosphere. Its under open sky and we are out for pleasure. 

OK, now coming back to my recipe, this dish can be prepared with different varieties of lentil of your choice. With any types of lentils, it tastes great. In my recipe I have used Toor/Arhar/Yellow Split Pigeon Peas lentils. It is the most easiest way of cooking this delicious dish. If you do not want to cook vegetables and lentils separately then this is the perfect recipe for you.  I have washed and soaked the dal for 10 minutes.  For this recipe, many people chop the spinach and then add it to the lentils. But I tend not to chop the spinach but rather use whole leaf as it is. I like to blanch the spinach before using it. Then cook the spinach leaves along with a dal itself.
Spinach is a good source of iron, Vitamin K, A, B2, B6, C and E. It also contains Magnesium and Foliate. It is rich is dietary fibres an water content is high in spinach thus making it a healthy  vegetable for your body. On the other side Dal/Lentils are rich in carbohydrates and protein.  So if it is cooked together it is a complete meal in itself.

Preparation Time:- 10 minutes Cooking Time:- 10 minutes Total Time:- 20 minutes 

Number of Serving:- 3-4 persons 

1 cup = 250 ml 
¾ cup = 200 ml
½ cup = 125 ml 
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
½ teaspoon = 2.5 ml
¼ teaspoon = 1.25 ml

* Toor Dal/Yellow Split Pigeon Peas:- 1/2 cup
* Palak/ Spinach:- 1/2 Blanched
* Tomatoes:- 1 medium sized (diced into cubes)
* Garlic Cloves:- 2 pods + 2 chopped
* Turmeric Powder:- 1/4 teaspoon
* Red Chilli Powder:- 1/4 teaspoon
* Hing/ Asafoetida:- small pinch/ 1/8 teaspoon
* Whole Dry Red Chilli:- 1-2 no.
* Salt:- to taste
* Water:- 1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups (for boiling the lentils)
* Ghee/Clarified Butter:- 2 teaspoon 

1. Wash and soak the dal in cold water for 10 minutes. Now take a pressure pan, add the soaked dal, chopped tomatoes, blanched spinach leaves, 2 pods of garlic, turmeric powder and salt to it. Add 1 1/4 - 11/2 cups of water. Close the lid and cook it under 2-3 whistles. ( The time of cooking the dal will depend upon the quality of the lentils and pressure cooker, so cook accordingly.) The dal should be cooked properly but not be mushy. ( Refer to note.)

2. When the pressure goes down, open the lid, check for the lentils, that whether it is cook or not. Now with a wired whisk, give it a good mix. So that the spinach, dal and the garlic cloves are mixed thoroughly. Check for seasoning.

3. Now heat some ghee in a small pan. Add dry whole red chillis, asafoetida, chopped garlic cloves. Cook till garlic is light golden brown in colour. Switch off the flame. Now add red chilli powder into the ghee. Stir it quickly and drizzle the ghee over the hot spinach dal. ( Make sure you do not burn the chilli powder, to avoid that this process need to be done very quickly.) Mix till gently and cover the dal for 1 minute so that all the flavours get infused into the dal. And that's it. Your healthy and tasty tasty dal palak is ready to be served.

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* For blanching the spinach, wash the spinach leaves thoroughly. Boil some water in a pan. When the water starts to boil, add the spinach leaves to the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain out the water and refresh the spinach leaves under cold water or iced water. then use the spinach as mention above.

 People living outside India, and not aware of all the Indian spices you will mostly get all of them in the Indian stores near your place. 

Serving Tips:- Serve this dal palak with steamed rice or it goes very well with roti, paratha as well.

Calorie count per person:-

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