Daal paalak (split chickpea lentil with spinach)

Spinach tastes excellent in baked quiche, paalak paneer and paalak fritters(pakoda). But you prepare it as a vegetable, kids will ignore it. With spinach, tomatoes enhance its taste a lot. I always have a liking for paalak ki sabzi. Honestly speaking, I was a good kid with my eating habits probably because at my parent’s house it was compulsory for us to eat everything which was served in meals. My younger sister Nandini was a little rebellious with this rule and to get food of her choice she started cooking at an early age. I guess I was happy by having a variety of food (cooked by Nandini and mother) on the table, so never bothered to trouble myself in the kitchen till I was forced to live out of the town because of  my job.

Coming back to spinach, my mother used to prepare daal (lentils) along with spinach. Mostly she used green split moong daal (chilke vaali moong daal) and chana daal (split chickpea lentil). I use chana daal for daal palak.  Chana daal is slightly heavy for digestion so I feel that adding spinach will balance it. For tadka (seasoning) in daal I mostly use mustard oil or olive oil, but desi ghee will enhance its taste a lot and you will get wonderful dhaba style daal.

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Ingredients :

Chana daal             1cup
Shredded spinach 1/2 cup

Water- to boil daal     4 cups (after boiling if you feel daal is too thick, add some more water)

Salt-                                        1 tsp (add or reduce as per your taste)
Turmeric powder-slightly less than 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder-                1 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) –                1/8 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) –            1/2 tsp
Green chillies –                       1-2

Tomato medium size            2 (chopped, grated or puree)
Grated ginger                          1/2 tsp ,
Onion                                      1 (chopped)

Process, :

Wash nicely and soak chana daal in three cups of water for an hour.

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Wash and chop spinach leaves finely.

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After an hour mix chopped spinach leaves and soaked chana daal together in a  pressure cooker, add salt and turmeric powder and cook it until chana daal is cooked properly.

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Now we will prepare our seasoning or tadka for daal. Chop onions and green chillies finely. Grate ginger and tomatoes.

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Heat 2 tbsp oil/ghee in a pan and crackle cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add onion, ginger and green chillies till onions are light brown. Now add tomatoes and fry everything till it starts leaving the oil from sides.

 

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When daal is completely cooked, add daal in this tadka, mix it properly and serve hot in lunch or dinner.

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Panchmel daal

Panchmel daal is a mixture of five daals……….

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toor daal, white split urad daal, chana daal, split yellow or green moong daal and red split masoor daal. So either you can take each type of daal in equal quantity to get the mixture or nowadays you can buy ready pack of mix daal in any supermarket.

In Rajasthan generally it is prepared during some special occasion and is part of a complete wholesome Rajasthani thali and we can have with Baati (traditional Rajasthani food) and Churma (wheat flour).
My mother used to prepare this on traditional “mitti ka chulha” in a clay pot on very low heat and the taste used to be amazing!!!!

Ingredients :
Panchmel daal
Water
Hing (asafoetida)
Jeera (cumin seeds)
Rai (mustard seeds)
Haldi powder (turmeric powder)
Salt
Red chili powder
Chopped onion, green chili and tomato, garlic ginger paste,
Desi ghee/oil
Chopped coriander green leaves

Process:
Soak all daals together for half an hour after washing. Put them in the cooker with salt, haldi powder and water. Switch off the gas after just one whistle and let the cooker cool down. After it has cooled, open it and you will see that daal is not cooked yet.

Now we will cook it on low flame in open heavy bottomed vessel or in cooker itself but without lid.

This way you will get nice texture and taste of dhaba style daal.

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In between prepare tadka…….
1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan…
2. Let rai, hing and jeera crackle.
3. Add finely chopped onion….
4. Once onions are transparent and slightly brown add chopped or grinded tomatoes….
5. Add one pinch of salt so that they will be cooked fast…
6. Add ginger garlic paste and chopped green chilles…
7. And finally, if you want more spicy taste – can add red chilli powder too…

When daal is completely cooked, add tadka and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Baati (traditional Rajasthani food) or naan and while serving add little bit of ghee or butter.

Try this daal at home – you will stop ordering this daal in any restaurant or dhabha.

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