Health is Wealth, my love. So, let’s have something nutritious now, shall we?
Now, majority of my family is in India. As far as the temperatures are concerned at the moment, in summer, it is Not agreeing with anyone! And the mercury is rising here as well. To deal with the heat (and usually as a part of our regular diet) I made this particular Dal, which turned out to be not only great but quite different than other ‘dals’ that I make (if that makes sense?) This was a good, simple dinner.
‘Dal’ is a classic Indian comfort food that can be had with a dash of freshly-squeezed lime and some rice. It is made in various different ways, using different spices in different parts of India. (And that’s a lot of ‘different’, but you understand!)
This is my rendition of ‘Dal Palak’. You can always adjust the spice level accordingly. And of course, add as much spinach as you want to!
1 bunch spinach, washed thoroughly and chopped
½ cup mix of masoor dal and moong dal, washed (masoor – lentil dal/pink lentil; moong – mung lentil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tomato, halved and chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of hing or asafoetida
2-3 dried red chillies
1-2 chopped green chillies
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil (you can use canola or olive oil)
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp or less, garam masala powder
Salt (according to taste)
1) Soak dal mix in 2 cups water for 15 mins.
2) On medium high heat boil the dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder, half tomato (chopped) and salt. The boiled dal should be of a thick consistency, not watery.
3) In a pan or kadai, heat oil, add cumin seeds, hing/asafoetida, red chillies (break them in half) and garlic. When the garlic is very light brown, add the onion and some salt. (Don’t put too much, you already have salt in the boiled lentil)
4) Add the tomatoes once onion is translucent and coriander powder. cook this on low-medium heat till the whole mixture is well-meshed.
5) Then add the boiled lentil and chopped spinach. You may need to add another ½ or 1 cup of water here. Use your discretion according to the consistency you want your dal/soup to be.
Bring this to boil on medium high flame and keep the pan uncovered. Covering the pan makes the spinach lose it’s nice green color.
6) Once it starts boiling, add garam masala powder. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Serve hot with steamed rice or whole wheat roti/parantha. Or you can have it like a soup, as the name suggests!
On long tiring days when all you want is some simple home food, Dal is very easy to make and is always AB’s and my first choice!
Get into your kitchen and give this a try! 🙂