Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Daal Palak aka Lentils with Spinach.
A not-so-Bengali recipe, but I love it all the same. I used to eat this a LOT when I was in Delhi but ever since I came to Chennai, the only decent daal-palak I have found is at Angithi/Aangan (unsure of name) a Gujarati vegetarian restaurant opposite Stella Maris College, in the lane beside Gangotri.
Last evening I decided to make daal-palak on my own. So although this recipe can be a little off-track from established daal-palak recipes, I promise you it tastes just as good! So here goes:
Masoor Daal (you can also use Toor/Arhar daal)
Spinach leaves - cleaned and chopped
Onions - finely chopped
Ginger - a one inch cube, finely chopped
Garlic - 7-8 cloves, finely chopped
Cumin - for seasoning
Bay leaf - for seasoning
Boil daal, spinach, tomatoes and green chillies together with turmeric powder and salt. You can also use a pressure cooker for this. Boil it for around 5 whistles, this is when the daal is done to a nice thick consistency and you cannot separate the grains from the water - it will be bright yellow, in a (for the want of a better word) paint-like consistency, with bits of the green spinach and the red tomatoes floating in it. Quite a visual treat already. Remove from heat and keep aside.
In a kadhai, heat oil, and add the bay leaves and cumin seeds until they begin to splutter. Add chopped onions, ginger, and garlic, and toss-fry till the onions become translucent. Add chilli powder and a little turmeric powder, keep tossing until the fat begins to leave the sides. Now, add the boiled daal to this seasoning and simmer for 5-7 more minutes.
Your daal-palak is ready! You can eat this with rice or roti, and in case you want a little variety, you can add pickle, poppadums, or even fried beef along with it!