One of my instagram followers sent me a message the other day asking me if I had a good recipe for daal paalak.
Daal (lentils) and paalak (spinach) are two of my simple yet tasty Indian favorites and combining them is such a genius idea, isn’t it?! I didn’t have a recipe I loved so I created one!
It doesn’t look like much but honestly you guys, it is SO SO GOOD. Not just nutrient-dense and packed with fiber but bursting with spicealicious flavor and so satisfying. I have been eating bowlfuls on their own but you could serve it with quinoa, rice or roti. Some oven roasted, garam masala spiced sweet potatoes would do the trick too.
I hope you love it.
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 dried whole red chilis (optional)
Pinch of hing (optional)
1 cup split yellow or red lentils, rinsed well and soaked for 1-3 hours then drained1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Large pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup crushed or finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen or 2 cups fresh spinach
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Large handful cilantro, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne for serving (optional)
In a pot or pressure cooker, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil on medium high heat until it shimmers. Add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, the dried red chilis and hing (if using) and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the lentils, 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. If using a pressure cooker allow one whistle and then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. If using a regular pot, cover and cook on a low flame for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are softened thoroughly. Add more water if the mixture dries out.
While the lentils are cooking, in a separate pan, warm the remaining oil on medium high heat. Add the rest of the cumin seeds and turmeric and saute for a minute. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for 3 minutes until the onions are softened. Add the rest of the spices and sautee for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, salt and pepper and stir well. Allow the spinach to cook for 5 – 10 minutes until wilted, sauteeing every few minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
Add the spinach to the cooked lentils and stir well. Add more water to thin out the mixture to a soup like consistency. Cook the mixture for 5-10 minutes on a low flame stirring often. Adjust the salt to taste.
Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, sprinkling of fresh cilantro and more cayenne if you like heat.