Dals or lentils are one of the main source of proteins and micronutrients for the vegetarians. In India Dal is a basically a soup or stew made with lentils with any kind of lentils with or without vegetables. Palak is Spinach one of the low-calorie superfood loaded with nutrient like calcium, iron, and vitamins. Lehsun is Garlic and Lehsuni refers to a the strong garlic flavour in any dish. Dal Palak Lehsuni is a dal/lentils and spinach cooked in onion tomato masala strongly flavoured with garlic. It is one of the wholesome food that provides all the vital nutrients. For Indians Dal forms an integral part of their lunch/ dinner menu along with rice and chapatis. Various lentils are also used to prepare a variety of snack and dishes.
Lehsuni Dal Palak Main Ingredients and benefits
Different varieties of moong dal like Dhuli Moong(Split Moong with skin), Chilka Moong(Split Moong with skin) are commonly used to make Dal Palak. Many people use Arhar or Toor dal(Split Pigeon Pea) also to make it.I use any of the moong dal that is available with me but my kids like it more when made with Dhuli Moong( Split Moong without skin) more than the Chilka Moong(Split Moong with skin) . In this recipe I have used Dhuli Moong/Split Moong Without Skin. Moong lentils or Moong Dal is rich in antioxidants, proteins, minerals, folate. It is very light on stomach and easily digestible and is used in ayurveda for detox and curing various ailments.
Spinach is in season now along with the other winter greens and I make a good use of this seasonal green. Check out Palak Paneer, Palak aur Kabuli Chane Ka Pulao, Palak Paneer Parantha, Sarson Ka Saag, Kale and Spinach Saag with Paneer Koftas and many other recipes where I use a Palak or Spinach.
Many people like to add a rich tempering of garlic along with hing/asafoetida and those who avoid garlic in their food make it without it. In winters I prefer a rich tempering of garlic with red chilli powder in desi ghee as garlic because of it immunity, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Elders in family always stressed on adding garlic in food especially in winters. In summers we limit the use of garlic due to its heat generating properties.
How I make this fingerlicking and so flavourful Lehsuni Dal Palak ..
Making Lehsuni Dal Palak is very easy and simple. I used to cook the dal in pressure cooker, now since I have got Instant Pot, I make full use of it. The recipe below, includes the steps to cook dal in stove-top pressure cooker and Instant Pot also. The recipe also has separate steps to make onion-tomato masala/bhuna masala and tempering.
Lehsuni Dal Palak
- 1 Cup Dhuli Moong / Split Moong without skin
- 1 small bag Fresh Spinach leaves approx. 250 g
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 Tomatoes(Medium)
- 5-6 Garlic Cloves
- 1" Ginger Piece
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 -2 tsp Garam Masala Powder as required
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/4 tsp Hing/Asafoetida pls see notes
- 1-2 tbsp Desi Ghee
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves optional
- Wash the lentils/dal and soak for 10-15 minutes.
- Wash spinach leaves nicely in water. Drain the extra water, and chop the leaves.
- Finely chop, onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. Keep half of the garlic aside, to use in tempering the before serving.
Stove-top Pressure cooker Method
- In a pressure cooker, add dal and water. .Water should be around 2 cups. Switch on the stove-top to medium flame and let dal come to boil. Discard the froth that accumulates on the top.
- Add turmeric powder, finely chopped spinach leaves and salt. Close the lid and cook till 2-3 whistles. Switch off the flame and let the pressure release on it's own.
- Meanwhile prepare the onion tomato masala. Add masala and mix well, once the pressure releases. Temper the dal with cumin seeds ,red chilli and some more garlic before serving.
Instant Pot Method
- Add soaked lentils in inner pot of Instant Pot along with 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Switch on the Instant Pot to saute mode and set the timer for 5 mins.
- Let the lentils boil, discard the froth that accumulates on the top. Prepare the onion and tomato masala when the lentils are boiling. Making the masala takes only 5 minutes. It will be ready by the time lentils boil.
- After discarding the froth add turmeric powder , salt and spinach leaves and onion tomato masala.
- Cancel the saute mode, close the lid of Instant Pot , set the pressure cooker mode on high, with the timer for 5 minutes.
- After the timer goes off, release the pressure and mash the dal a bit. Adjust the consistency of dal by adding more water if required or cook the dal on saute mode for another 2-3 minutes for a little thicker consistency. Close the lid and keep it till the serving time.
- Temper the Dal before serving.
For Onion Tomato Masala(also known as bhuna masala)
- In a pan, add ghee/oil, when hot add cumin seeds, once the seeds crackle, add ginger and garlic and saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add finely chopped onions and saute till light brown.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook till soft and mushy.
- Add garam masala and cook for another 1-2 minutes. The masala is cooked when it starts giving the aroma.
- Add to the Dal Palak , once the pressure released in stove-top pressure cooker or along with the other ingredients in Instant Pot.
To prepare Desi Ghee tempering
- In a small pan, add ghee/oil, 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, once the seeds crackle, add the garlic that we kept aside. Saute till the garlic is brown in color, add red chilli powder and add to dal palak.
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.
- Tempering enhances the taste and aroma of Dal Palak, skip if you don't want. Add all the garlic while making the bhuna masala(onion-garlic masala).
- While making in Instant pot, I add the bhuna masala, after removing the froth from the lentils, in case you don't want to prepare the bhuna masala separately, make masala in Instant Pot on saute mode, then add the lentils and spinach and pressure cook the dal. Steps for making bhuna masala remain the same in instant pot also.
- I use desi ghee for making masala and tempering for lentils, vegans or those who avoid ghee in their diet can use any oil they prefer.
- Those on gluten-free diets, avoid hing/asafoetida.
- Those who have Gluten allergies can skip hing/asafoetida.
- The dish is vegan friendly , can be consumed by those on low cholesterol diet or are diabetic. For the no-onion no garlic or satvik version skip, onion and garlic.
- The dal is suitable for feeding to toddlers omit garam masala and garlic and chilli and temper the dal with cumin and garlic( 1 clove in winters) in very little oil.
Taking my Lehsuni Dal Palak to Healthy Wellthy Cuisines group where the theme this week is #LegumeAffairAtHW. Check out what the fellow bloggers have got for the theme..
Dhaba Style Kala Chana by Jayshree Taro
Moong Dal Khichdi by Kalyani
Habisha Dalma by Sasmita
Homemade Peanut Butter by Poonam
Manathankali Vattalkozhambu by Priya
Restaurant Style Dal Tadka by Seema
Baigan Pakora by Geetanjali Tung
Rajma Masala/ Kidney Beans Curry by Shalu
Boondi Kadhi by Rosy Nayak
Do make this my version of Lehsuni Dal Palak, it is rich and nutritious and it is full in flavours too. My kids like to have it with steamed rice. It can be equally enjoyed with hot chapatis and veggies like Aloo Gobhi or Gajar Matar or even Jeera Aloo.
Sharing my Leshsuni Dal Palak to the 125th edition of My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), a monthly event wherein participants from around the world share vegetarian legume-based recipes. This event was conceptualised by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. This month, MLLA is being hosted by Seema of Mildly Indian.
Share your feedback whenever you make this garlicky and yumm Dal.. I will love to see the pics on any of my social media pages..FB or tag me on Instagram(#foodtrails25) whenever your try. You can also Pin the recipe for later use.
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