Dal Palak is an Indian dish made with red lentils and spinach. Dal is a regular part of Indian cuisine and quite simple to make. As a side dish, dal goes very well with lots of different meat curries, like butter chicken, tandoori chicken, beef vindaloo and more.
For the longest time I was intimidated to try and cook Indian dishes. I thought that it was going to be too difficult to replicate some of my favourite dishes we would order at Indian restaurants. Once I tried though, I discovered that cooking Indian food is not hard at all.
One of my favourite aspects of cooking Indian food at home is that I can control the heat level. While I love very spicy food, others in my family prefer things much more on the mild side. Cooking it at home, allows you to set the heat level to your preference.
I know that many people first cook the lentils in the pressure cooker. That was how I first learned to cook this dish from an Indian friend who makes dal a lot. For the longest time, I did not have a pressure cooker, so I just simmered the dal in a saucepan until they softened. It does take a good hour or so of simmering, and you may need to keep adding water. But, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, it is just as good of a way to make masoor dal.
Anytime I decide to cook Indian food, I usually make two or three different dishes. Here are some of my other Indian recipes that go very well with this Masoor Dal with Spinach.
- Butter Chicken
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Seafood Curry – Indian Style
- Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry
- Keema Masala with Peas – Ground Beef Curry
Masoor Dal with Spinach
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion , diced
- 1 tomato , diced
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves , packed
- In a saucepan add oil and, at a medium high heat, fry the onion and tomatoes.
- When onions are transparent, about 5 minutes, add spices, garlic and ginger.
- Cook for 3 minutes to bring out the flavours of the spices.
- Add lentils and water.
- Bring to a boil and then lower heat.
- Cover and simmer for about an hour.
- If the water is completely soaked up by the lentils add more, a little at a time.
- Once the dal is all softened and the water mostly soaked up, stir in the spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes or until all spinach is wilted and cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with pappadums or naan bread.