Methi palak dal is a flavorful, vegan Indian lentil stew with fresh spinach and fenugreek. It pairs well with rice and Indian flat breads.
Dazzling Dals from India
Dal is a very common preparation in India and it is often prepared with green leaves such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, purslane and sorrel leaves. Tomato, tamarind and lime juice are some of the add ons to dal. Green leaves are rich in iron but is not bioavailable. Iron is not readily available for the body to absorb. Hence, cook spinach with some vitamin C rich food such as tomatoes, tamarind and lime to enhance the bioavailability of iron in green leaves.
What is Fenugreek Spinach Dal?
It is moong dal with fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) and spinach (palak). Palak moong dal is a very common preparation in everyday South Indian cuisine. Before coming to India almost 3 weeks ago, I was on clearing my refrigerator mode. I had some methi and palak, hence mixed both the greens to prepare this dal.
Methi Palak Dal Recipe
Vegan Indian green gram dal cooked with fresh fenugreek leaves and spinach
- ¼ cup Moong Dal
- 1 tbsp Oil
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 3-4 Curry Leaves
- ½ small Onion chopped
- 3 small Green Chilies cut into small pieces
- 2 fat Cloves of Garlic crushed
- 1 - 1½ tsp Salt
- Pinch of Turmeric
- ¼ tsp Chili Powder (optional)
- 1 cup Fresh Fenugreek Leaves chopped
- 1 cup Spinach chopped
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
Wash and cook moong dal with ½ cup of water in a pressure cooker for 3 whites/hisses. Cooking in a saucepan will require more water.
In a saucepan heat oil, add cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
When seeds splutter, add green chilies, onions and cook till onions are soft.
Add fenugreek leaves, garlic and cook until fenugreek leaves wilt.
Next add turmeric, chili powder if using, salt and give a good stir.
Add spinach and cook for a minute or two till leaves wilt.
Mash cooked dal and add to saucepan.
Let everything blend together, cook for a minute or two.
Add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
Cook until Spinach is cooked and dal reaches a desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
Taste and adjust salt and chili powder.
Squeeze ½ lime or 1 tbsp of juice.
Give a good stir, turn off the flame, cover and let it sit for few minutes before serving.
Serve with rice rice or Indian flatbread.
- Variation - Substitute spinach + fenugreek leaves with any greens of choice or a mix of green leaves.