Popeye was definitely onto something. Spinach is a super food loaded with tons and tons of nutrients which are important for skin, hair and bone. They also provide proteins, vitamins and minerals. All these benefits are cramped up in a low calorie package. So guys! Keep spinach in your diet often 🙂
Palak pappu also has toor dal/Arhar dal which is also very good for health. Toor dal is now counted as a vegetable and protein sub group. This is because legumes such as toor dal are an excellent source of nutrients and plant protein. On the contrary, it also contains dietary fiber. So, legumes are nutritionally similar to poultry, meat and fish. As an add on to this, legumes are low in fat and cholesterol. So, people who seriously want to cut on their meat in take with no loss of nutrition can switch on to legumes 🙂
Coming to the recipe now, a very simple recipe yet satisfying and ultimate comfort food with a bowl of hot rice and unapologetic amount of ghee. I remember making trips to Andhra restaurants in Bangalore just to relish this parappu/pappu chaaru. I totally drool over this and I make it quite often as it has all the goodness which my kids needs. I generally saute finely chopped spinach in homemade ghee before adding whereas in traditional recipe you directly add it when your making the dal.
Arhar dal/Toor dal – 1/2 cup
Spinach/Palak leaves – 1 cup finely chopped
Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)
Tomato – 1 medium (finely chopped)
Garlic – 5 or 6 cloves
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind paste – 1/4 tsp ( mix it with little water)
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilli – 3 (broken)
Curry leaves – a sprig
Asafoetida – a large pinch
Ghee- 2 tbsp
- In a pressure cooker, transfer washed dal, turmeric and 1 tsp oil. Add required amount of water and pressure cook it up to 4 whistles. Mash it with a masher (not too fine though)
- In a kadhai, add 1 tbsp ghee and allow it to heat. Add finely chopped spinach to this and cook for about a minute or two. Set aside
- In a heavy bottomed vessel, add 1 tbsp ghee and once hot, add garlic, mustard, jeera, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Saute
- Add onion and saute till the onions turn translucent
- Add chopped tomatoes and fry on medium heat for few minutes
- When tomatoes turn mushy, add cooked dal to this and mix everything well.
- Add tamarind juice, salt and little water if required.Bring this to boil.
- Add sauted palak/Spinach to this and mix everything till incorporated. Bring this to boil
- Serve hot with steamed rice and dollop of ghee 🙂
- Sauteing the palak in ghee is totally optional and can be avoided. You can directly add chopped spinach after you add tomatoes i.e., after step 5
- Garlic can also be cooked along with toor/arhar dal in the cooker to give a better aroma.
- You can also use a combination of split moong dal and arhar dal
- You also can add channa dal for the seasoning I however do not add.