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Dal Palak Lehsuni Recipe

Lehsuni Dal Palak

Split Moong (Dhuli Moong) cooked with Spinach(Palak) in onion tomato masala flavoured with garlic and garam masala. A light and nutritious Lentils and Spinach curry/ soup flavoured with garlic and garam masala. Stove-top Pressure cooker and Instant Pot recipes included.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4


  • 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.
Keyword Fasting Food, Gluten-free,Vegan, Fried Food, Instant Pot Recipe, Lentil and Spinach Curry/Soup, Lentils, Spinach, Vegetarian
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