Dal Palak – Indian Lentils and Spinach

Dal Palak - Indian Lentils and Spinach

Embrace the simplicity of this dish; it’s a testament to the fact that great taste doesn’t require complexity. Whether you’re an experienced cook or new to Indian cuisine, Dal Palak is forgiving and flexible, allowing you to adapt to your tastes.


  • 1 cup red lentils (split, masoor dal)
  • 5 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter, or use regular unsalted butter)
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 whole dried chillies (preferably kashmiri)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup coriander, chopped (optional)
  • basmati rice, steamed (optional)

Method of preparation:

Rinse the red lentils thoroughly until the water runs clear. Bring the 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan.

Add the rinsed lentils, salt and ground turmeric to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the ghee in a separate pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dried chillies. When the cumin seeds start to sputter, add the chopped garlic and asafetida (if using). Cook until the garlic is golden brown.

Add the cooked lentils to the spice mixture in the pan. Stir in the baby spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted.

Sprinkle the paprika and garam masala over the lentils and spinach. Stir well to combine all the flavours.

Garnish with chopped coriander if desired before serving.

Serve hot with steamed basmati rice for a complete meal.

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