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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moong Dal Palak (Moong dal Spinach)


* 1 cup moong dal

* 3/4 teaspoon salt

* 2 cups of water

* 1 pound of spinach (can use frozen spinach)

* 1 onion red or yellow

* 1 tomato

* 2-3 Serrano peppers

* 1" piece of ginger

* 8 pods of garlic

* 1 tablespoon butter

* 1 table spoon oil

* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon asafetida

* 1 bay leaf

* 1 cup of crushed tomatoes or tomato puree from can

* 1 table spoon coriander powder

* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

* 1 teaspoon cumin powder

* 1 tablespoon mango powder

* 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

* 1 teaspoon garam masala

* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

* 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

* 1 cup of water

* 1/4 cup of heavy cream (optional)


* Wash moong dal, add 2 cups of water and salt and cook it in pressure cooker.

* Let the cooker cool when done, while you prepare the spinach and gravy sauce.

* Wash spinach and boil it in uncovered pot until tender (if you cover it the spinach will turn dark)

* When spinach is tender and cooked, drain all water and set aside to cool.

* Chop and coarsely grind onion, ginger, garlic, serrano pepper and tomato in food processor.

* Heat oil and butter in a pan.

* Add cumin seeds when oil/butter is hot, when seeds crackle add asafetida and bay leaf.

* Add chopped onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and chili paste.

* Saute until brown and all the water is gone.

* Add all the dry spices, stir and cook for few seconds.

* Add tomato puree or crushed tomato from can.

* Cook for 2 min, stirring occasionally.

* Add 1 cup of water and dal, cook for 1-2 min.

* Chop/grind the boiled spinach in food processor to desired consistency.

* Add chopped spinach to dal.

* Cook for 3-4 min.

* Add heavy whipping cream, stir and mix well.

* Serve hot with rice, chapati or Naan.


* You can change the proportion of moong dal to spinach, that is you can add less spinach and more dal or vice versa.

* You can make Masoor palak (Lentil spinach) same way by substituting Moong dal with Masoor (lentils).

* To make it less rich and creamy you avoid adding heavy cream at the end.

Recipe and Photograph by Surekha.

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