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Spinach Dal Recipe

Toor dal (also known as split pigeon peas) is an important staple in the Indian diet. Toor dal is healthy, nutritious and an excellent source of protein. These dal cook in a snap especially when using a pressure cooker but can also be just as easily cooked on the stovetop. This easy recipe is just perfect for entertaining those last minute guests and can be made in a pinch. Toor dal is a great source of protein especially for vegetarians.

The pressure cooker is absolutely indispensable in the Indian kitchen. It cooks dals, beans, lentils, vegetables, rice, chicken and lamb in mere minutes (as opposed to hours). The result is a fully cooked and tender final product that is cooked by a fast and healthy method. Pressure cookers can be a little intimidating at first, but I highly recommend using one especially for Indian meals. Pressure cookers will make your life easier and are a wonderful time saver. The newer modern pressure cookers are inexpensive and much safer to use. They are also easily available in most home and kitchen appliance stores.


TOOR DAL WITH SPINACH

Ingredients:

1 cup toor dal
7-8 ozs of fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
3-4 fresh green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise
1 piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
cup of freshly grated coconut (or you can use unsweetened desiccated coconut)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mustard seeds
6-8 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil (or ghee, butter)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

METHOD:

If you using a pressure cooker, cook the dal until it is completely tender. Let cool. Meanwhile in a sauce pan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat and add the green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida. Add the turmeric, garam masala and ginger, stir and let cook for a few minutes. Now add the cooked toor dal, making sure there is a sufficient amount of water. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery. Using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot. Add the spinach, coconut, salt and lemon juice, stir well and let the dal come to a good boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with fresh chapatis and Basmati rice.

If you are cooking the dal on the stovetop, half way through the cooking process add the ginger, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile heat another small pan on medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat and add the green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida.

Add this mixture to the cooked toor dal. Stir well to combine, making sure there is a sufficient amount of water. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery. Using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot. Add the spinach, coconut and lemon juice. Stir well, let the dal come to a good boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with fresh chapatis and Basmati rice.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Sadhana Ginde. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sadhana Ginde. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sadhana Ginde for details.



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