This simple and easy Dal Palak / Spinach Lentil Curry is healthy, wholesome Indian dish packed with plant protein and fiber. Pair it with steamed rice for a delicious, nutritious and comforting meal! This dal is super easy to make and completely doable on a weekday without much pre-planning. Only a few basic ingredients and spices that are already in your pantry bring you a comforting healthy meal that comes together under 30 minutes without much of efforts. The recipe below is gluten free and vegan.
Dal, a basic staple across all Indian subcontinent, is a generic term used to describe all dry legumes/lentils, beans and even peas. A extremely good source of plant based protein and complex carbohydrates, it is my go to choice for making healthy one pot complete meals.
Spinach , widely regarded as Super food, is very nutritional dense addition to any meal. It is high in vitamins including folate, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, pigments, Minerals including iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, magnesium and even some plant calcium. Spinach is also rich in pigments like beta-carotene, lutein, xanthene, and chlorophyll. Just like other green leafy vegetables, spinach has very low-fat content. It also helps boosts metabolism.
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With increasing screen time for all of us including our precious kids, maintaining and improving eyesight is a major concern. Spinach with it’s well regarded benefits helps with that naturally. So adding a spinach in most meals possible was a no brainer for this health conscious mom. I prefer to cook it along with most beans and lentils or even grains like rice and quinoa to get all the extra benefits while making a naturally healthy meal.
Can I Use Dal Palak / Spinach Dal As A Meal Prep?
You absolutely can !! You can easily double or triple the recipe. Cooking time will remain the same. It freezes well and makes excellent choice for wholesome and delicious lunch. I often pack it with Basmati rice, some cool cucumber slices and Flax seed chutney. Nutritious and comforting lunch at a fraction of cost. All without much of hands on cooking ! A win win for sure.
How To Make Dal Palak / Spinach Lentil Curry?
To make this Dal Palak / Spinach Lentil Curry, you can use InstantPot or Stovetop cooking method. If using Instantpot, you can do tampering of the oil, sauté the washed dal and cook it with spices . Traditionally, dal is cooked separately and then spices and oil tampering is added later. However, doing it one go saves times, and makes it a one pot wonder meal. Less dishes to clean and less time monitoring the cooking too.
What are Ingredients of InstantPot Dal Palak ?
- Chivada or Indian Trail Mix with Rice Krispies
- Sol Kadhi – Refreshing and Vibrant Coconut Plum drink
- Amboli – Savory Gluten Free Pancake
- 1/2 cup each Moong dal and Toor dal, rinsed and drained
- 2.5 cups water for cooking
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt- adjust per taste
Turn InstantPot on SAUTE. Add oil, once heated, add cumin and mustard seeds. Once they feel hot, add curry leaves and minced garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add spinach , turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add both the lentils (dals) and 2.5 cups of water. Mix well. Close the lid. Cancel Sauté. Change it to Manual 6 minutes High Pressure.
Once InstantPot does cooking, let pressure release naturally. NPR
Adjust consistency of lentils by adding more water if needed . Adjust seasoning and salt if needed. Garnish it with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot.
In the same pot, you can make up to 2 cups of rice using PIP -Pot In Pot method. Since the daal and rice cooks at the time . So you have one wholesome, healthy, nutritious meal in one pot.
Stove Top Instructions
On a medium heat, add oil in a Soup pot or Dutch oven. Once oil feels hot, add cumin and mustard seeds. Once they splutter in a minute or so, add minced garlic and curry leaves. The oil will sizzle some.
Add all other ingredients except spinach and cilantro and mix well. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Check frequently to make sure there is enough water for it to cook. The dal should be smooth and tender. Add spinach and cilantro and let it cook further for 5 minutes. Mix well with ladle and serve hot.
For WFPB Oil Free Cooking - Simply skip the oil tampering part. You can use 2 tablesppons of warm water and follow rest of the instructions.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 480mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g