Friday, January 7, 2011

South Indian Toor Dal Palak - A staple curry in my house

Dal Palak



Dal (lentil) of your choice (you can use Toor Dal or Masoor Dal or Moon dal or a mixture of them) - 1cup
Palak (spinach or baby spinach leaves) -1 1/2cups (or even a handful) finely chopped
Tomatoes-2 finely chopped
Fresh grated coconut-2tablespoon
Green chillies-6small or 2 large
Tamarind juice-1tablespoon
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder-1/4 teaspoon
Sambar powder-1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder-1/2 teaspoon
Oil-2 table spoon
For Seasoning:-
Ghee-1 tablespoon
Onion-1 finely chopped
Red dry chillies- 2 broken into pieces
Garlic cloves - 3 sliced or crushed
Urad dal-1 teaspoon
Hing-a pinch
Cilantro (coriander leaves) - a small handful, chopped

My note:
1. To make tamarind juice (if not having tamarind paste)
Mix a small quantity of tamarind (about the size of a rupee coin or a US quarter) in a small bowl with some hot water. Mash the tamarind to make the tamarind juice. Strain before using.
2. I left out grated coconut on several occasions, coz I was too lazy to break a coconut and grate it.
3. I bought Sambar paste once instead of Sambar powder. The paste already contains tamarind too, so do not use additional tamarind paste if using sambar paste.

How to make Toor Dal Palak Curry
Pressure cook dal with 1 cup of water, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon oil, cool and mash well, and keep aside. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook it in an open saucepan until its turned very soft and mushy.
Heat oil in a large pot. Add green chillies, tomato, chopped spinach and fry well till the palak has wilted and tomato has mashed a little (about 2 minutes).
Add chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and 1/4 cup of water, cook the palak well.(about 5 minutes)
Add mashed dal with 1/4 cup dal water, salt, tamarind juice and sambar powder. Cook till it becomes thick.(another 2-3 mins)
Sprinkle cilantro and coconut. Allow dal to simmer on low heat. Meanwhile, heat ghee, add seasoning ingredients fry well pour on dal and mix well.
Serve with Rice or Chapattis.