Monday, July 24, 2006

Palak Dal

Spinach, like eggplant, was something I avoided as a child. I didn't care how many times I heard that it was good for me. Even being a fan of Popeye didn't help. And then I was introduced to Indian cuisine.

The culinary ingenuity of the subcontinent transformed spinach from a childhood "yuck food" to something I regularly crave. Speaking of cravings, I love channa dal (small, split chickpeas). They just take forever to cook, which is why I eat quick-cooking masoor dal (pink lentils) more frequently.

1 Tbsp oil or ghee (I use olive oil for pretty much everything, regardless of cuisine)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp hing
2 black cardomom pods, pounded and broken
1 bay leaf

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 cup channa dal
6 cups water (or more as needed)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garam masala

1 can of spinach
1 cup tomato sauce
salt to taste (I didn't add any salt as the canned spinach and tomato sauce had plenty)

Sauté A for about 1 min in saucepan, then add B. Sauté for a minute more, or until garlic becomes golden brown. Add C to saucepan and stir well. Bring to a high boil, then lower to a vigorous simmer.

Depending on the age of the dal, it will need to simmer from 1-2 hours. A pressure cooker can really cut the time down on this, but sadly I no longer have one :(. Once the dal is well-cooked, add D and serve! I was hungry, so I chowed down on this all by myself, but this recipe can easily feed 2-4 people if served with rice.

Palak Dal (Spinach Split-chickpea Stew)

For the protein-conscious, this recipe packs a total of 62 grams of protein (48 from the legumes and 14 from everything else).

1 comment:

Alka said...

Thanks for stopping by at and leaving trails of sweet words
regarding pressure cooker,i must say,it cuts off so much time and fuel,so its pretty necessary to invest in one
I guess if you soak chana dal in water for few hours before cooking it,the time taken to cook will be relatively too less
Nevertheless,this recipe is bookmarked,and i need some serious browsing thru ur site to grab some more interesting recipes