Paalak Dal : Recipe

Domestic helps and cooks in India (not sure if such a concept exists in other countries) have the unique characteristic of being AWOL when you most need them to turn up, especially if one has had a tired day or is a little sick. Their excuses range from “I was sick” to “My kid was sick”. Anyway, our cook didn’t turn up this evening and my roommate and I were put in the dilemma of what to cook, which is more complex than planning what to order from a multi cuisine ¬†restaurant. The fact that we finally decide on Dal-Chawal (boiled lentils and rice) doesn’t deter us from having an intense discussion.

Anyway, we also had Paalak (spinach for the Popeye lovers) at home and decided to cook Paalak Dal (the second word means lentils, if it was difficult to figure out from the last paragraph) after he consulted his mom about the recipe and the only information I registered was garlic based seasoning and no onion.

What was meant to be an experiment ended up being an excellent dish which went really well with steamed rice.


  • Toor Dal(Yellow Pigeon Peas, is what wikipedia is calling it) : 3/4 cup
  • Paalak(spinach, doh!) : 1 handful, chopped
  • Garlic : 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Ginger : 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Red chilli powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera(cumin seeds) : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil : 3 teaspoon
  • Salt : to taste

Cooking Instructions

  • Pressure cook dal and paalak along with 3 cups of water for about 20 minutes(pressure cooker will give 3-4 whistles). Ensure that the dal has attained a thick, mashed consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add jeera and wait for them to pop.
  • Add garlic and ginger. Allow the garlic to attain a light brown colour.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Allow it to cook for the raw smell of the powders to disappear.
  • Pour the seasoning into the boiled lentils.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

About V
A software developer by profession, Milcom is a football lover and considers music as his religion. While he is not working, he likes reading blogs, listening to music, reading novels or simply sitting idle, in which he is a world champion.

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