Friday 24 May 2013

MOONG DAL PALAK YELLOW SPLIT LENTIL WITH SPINACH

MOONG DAL PALAK  YELLOW SPLIT LENTIL WITH SPINACH
Moong dal palak - another healthy recipe from my kitchen. I got introduced to dal palak as a variation to the plain dal that we used to order in the restaurants thanks to our kids who end up eating Plain basmati rice and dal in the restaurant as well with great relish.

I particularly liked the dal Palak that I ate at the Gokul restaurant here in Singapore.

I liked it because I could savor the taste of the dal. The dal still felt like dal and I could savor the palak separately with a slight crunch. The palak is just lightly cooked, blended nicely with the dal but not mashed into one green paste.

I googled up for the recipe but what I found in most websites was not the recipe I was looking for. Many were cooking the palak and mixing it with the Toor dal/moong dal, some looked like the south Indian keerai molaghutal minus the coconut. This was not what I wanted, so I went once more to the restaurant to savor the dish and realized that the palak was not cooked separately or overcooked or blended into a mix with the dal. The palak was used as coriander like a dressing and didn’t get overwhelming into the taste of the dal and I loved it. So here’s the recipe of dal palak restaurant style with a crunch.

Ingredients
Yellow split lentil(moong dal) -1 cup
Split pigeon peas (Toor Dal) – 2 tbsps
Spinach – 15 leaves
Onion - 1
Tomato – 2 ripe
Green Chilly – 4-5
Ginger – ½ inch
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Asafetida(hing) – ½  tsp
Coriander powder – 2tsps
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Dry mango powder (Amchur powder) – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dried Red chilly whole - 2
Oil – 2 tbsps
Lemon – 1 whole
Curry leaves – A sprig
Fresh green coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste

Method
Wash, rinse and Pressure cook the lentils upto 3 whistles with a pinch of turmeric. Once cooked, mash the lentils well with the back of a ladle. Keep aside. Chop the onions, tomatoes. Cut the green chillies into halves. In a wok (kadhai), Add some oil and when the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when it begins to crackle. Add in the onions and sauté until translucent, then add in the curry leaves and chilly and sauté for a minute, Add in the tomatoes and sauté until squashy. Now add Asafetida, Coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder, Amchur powder, salt as per taste and mix well. Now add the boiled lentils. Add 3 cups of water and let it boil for 15-20 minutes until all the spices and dal combine into one uniform mixture. You can adjust the consistency by either boiling more till thicker, or adding water slowly, until the desired consistency is reached, simmering slowly over low heat.
Cook further for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you know that the dal is to the desired consistency you seek and well cooked. Squeeze the juice of a lemon without the seeds. Add finely chopped fresh green spinach (palak) and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and 2 red chillies fried in oil until plump and serve. Since the spinach is not overcooked and just gets blanched on top of the dal it will still have the crunch and not melt into the dal. This is the consistency I want. This helps to retain the nutritional value and add a subtle flavor to my dal not changing the taste of the conventional dal by grinding in the spinach and yet having a new flavor to it which is not overwhelming or does not overpower the taste of the dal.

Serve hot with Roti or rice. Do try this method and enjoy the Dal Palak. 

Tips:
-          You can add garlic as well for extra flavoring, I don’t use much garlic in my cooking  hence I avoided it.

-          You can add the seasoning (tadka) of mustard, cumin & Red chillies at the point of serving

-          You can replace the moong dal with Toor dal

-          You can use 1 cup of Toor dal and 2 tbsps of moong dal, moong dal usually gives a thickness to the dal.

-          You can adjust the gravy according to your desired consistency. Some like their dal thick and some like it a bit watery.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs