Sunday, May 5, 2013

Palak with Chana Dal (Spinach with Split Bengal Gram)

A delicious and easy to make preparation. It's a complete dish in itself as it has both lentils and greens. Doesn't really need a side dish. A raita is more than enough. Pairs well with Indian breads.

Ingredients : 
Spinach                    2 large bundles
Bengal gram dal.       1/ 2 cup
Onion                      1 large (finely sliced)
Tomatoes                 4 med ( 300 gms) (finely chopped )
Oil                           2 tbsp
Asafoetida.               a pinch
Cumin seeds             1 tsp
Green chilly.            1/2 ( finely chopped)
Ginger paste.           1 tsp
Garlic crushed.         2 tsp
Red chilly pd.          1 tsp
Turmeric pd.            1/2 tsp
Coriander pd.           2 tsp
Salt.                        To taste
Garam masala.         1/8 tsp

For garnish
Ginger juliennes.         1 tsp
Green chilly juliennes  1 tsp

Method : 
  1. Pick wash and chop spinach very finely . Keep it in a strainer to drain off excess water.
  2. Wash and pressure cook dal with some salt  till just done, three whistles. 
  3. Keep it in a strainer to drain off excess water.
  4. Heat oil in a non stick pan.
  5. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds. 
  6. When cumin seeds turn golden add green chilly and garlic.
  7. Fry for half a minute and add onion.
  8. Fry onion on low heat till they are soft and pink.
  9. Add tomatoes , cover and cook till they are soft. 
  10. Add red chilly pd, turmeric pd, coriander pd, ginger paste . Mix well. Add spinach. Cover and cook till spinach is done.
  11. Add salt, garam masala and dal. Mix lightly so as not to crush the dal.
  12. Cook for 2 minutes so that all flavours blend well.
  13. Remove from fire, taste and adjust salt.
  14. Garnish with  ginger and green chilly julienes 
  15. Serve hot with an Indian bread of your choice.
Note: It is very important that the dal is not be over cooked. It should be al dente. 
Don't soak the dal at all. Wash it and immediately pressure cook it in enough water with some salt.  For me three whistles were enough.
Drain it in a strainer.