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Monday, May 29, 2017

Moongdal Palak (Split Moonbeans with Spinach Curry)

Moong dal palak is one of my favourite  dal.
Dal (also spelled daal; is a term in the Indian subcontinent for dried, split pulses (that is, lentils, peas and beans). The term is also used for various soups prepared from these pulses. These pulses are among the most important staple foods in South Asian countries, and form an important part of Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi  cuisines.
Dals are frequently eaten with flatbreads such as Rotis or chapatis or with rice, a combination referred to as dal bhat. Dals are high in protein relative to other plants.
The outer hull is usually stripped off; dal that has not been hulled is described as chilka (skin), e.g. chilka urad dal, mung dal chilka in Hindi and Urdu  The term dal is often contrasted with the term gram, used in South Asia for pulses that are whole rather than split

  • 2 cups of Moong dal with or without skin, I used without skin
  • 1 8 oz pack of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 fresh Jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger peeled (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pods of dry red chili pods
  • 1 -2 pods of black cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon of asefoetida
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream or 1/4 cup of fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon of mango powder
  • 1 table spoon of Sriracha seasoning powder
  • Fresh lime juice from 1 juicy lime (or to taste)
  • 6-8 cups of water to cook dal and spinach to add later if desired.

  • Wash and soak dal, add salt and 4 cups of water and cook in pressure cooker. 
  • (3 whistles) Do not overcook.
  • Cook spinach in two cups of  boiling water in open container.
  • (if you cover it it will loose it green color)
  • Cool the cooker and spinach when done chop the boiled spinach with hand blender, set aside.

  • Chop onions.
  • Chop tomatoes and fresh jalapenos
  • Finely chop ginger and  garlic.
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom pod and dry red chili pod. 
  • Add asfoetida.
  • Add onions, saute until golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic and ginger 
  • Saute until tomatoes are soft.

  • Mix cream and tomato paste and add this to sauteed onions, pepper, garlic, ginger and tomatoes.
  • Cook for few min and add boiled dal, spinach and salt and  all the dry spices except Sriracha seasoning and mango powder. 
  • Gently mix it until every thing is well incorporated.
  • Cook on medium low heat for few min.
  • Then add Sriracha seasoning and mango powder.
  • Add lime juice and taste the salt if needed you may add more.

  • I used 8 oz pack of fresh spinach, you can use  more spinach if desired or even pack of  frozen spinach if you like.
  • You can to tempering on top with ghee, cumin seeds and red chili powder before serving if you like.
  • All the spices quantity can be adjusted to your taste.
  • You can adjust consistency of dal by decreasing or adding amount of water.

  • Serve hot with Naan/chapati and or Rice.

Enjoy !!
Dal Info source:
Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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