Thursday, March 7, 2013

Palak Dal Fry (Lentils with Spinach)

Dal fry is something I like to make often. But the regular-everyday version is made with oil instead of ghee and does not have a tadka (tempering) twice. Dal fry is not really fried or unhealthy. We can make it richer by increasing the amount of oil or ghee used in it.  I like to add vegetables to the dal which makes it  a complete meal. Here I have added chopped spinach along with the usual onion and tomatoes that go in it. Serve it with steaming hot rice and some more ghee on top.


1 cup toor dal
1/4 cup chana dal
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
5-6 curry leaves
1 medium sized onion (sliced)
4-5 garlic cloves (make a paste)
1 tomato (chopped)
3-4 dry red chillies or sliced green chillies
1 cup tightly packed fresh spinach leaves
pinch of garam masala (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
1 tablespoon oil 
salt according to taste

For second tadka
2 teaspoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a few methi seeds (fenugreek)
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing powder)


Wash and soak both the dals together for half an hour. Boil or pressure cook the dal with enough water, salt and turmeric powder till done. It should not become completely mushy. Keep it aside. Heat a pan with oil and fry the onion till golden. (keep some onions aside if desired for garnish later. Add the curry leaves and and garlic paste. Fry till the raw smell of garlic goes away. Add a pinch of garam masala powder and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Now add the chopped spinach leaves. Mix well and pour the cooked dal over it. Stir well.
To prepare the second tempering (tadka) heat ghee and add methi, mustard and cumin seeds. As soon as the seeds splutter add hing and dry red or green chillies and the red chilli powder. Immediately pour this over the dal and cover. Keep it covered for a while. Just before serving squeeze the juice of a lemon and mix.


  1. Yummyilicious and fingerlicking dal, love to enjoy with a bowl of rice.

  2. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!


    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  3. Hello! My name is Amy and I work at the Association for New Canadians in Newfoundland, Canada. I am helping to create an international cookbook as a small fundraiser for our organization, and one of the recipes submitted was for dal-fry. I happened across your blog and I was wondering if I could have your permission to use your photo of dal fry? I would put your website link in the book, of course.

    You can reach me at if you have any questions.



    1. Hi Amy,
      Thank you for checking. Yes you can surely add the photo as long as you link it to my website.