For the longest time, Palak (spinach) Moong Dal was the absolute, only way my mom could get me to eat spinach. That was of course, till a few years ago that perrrrfect spinach corn and cream cheese sandwich from a local goan café spoke to me. Mmm… And since then, well what can I say, spinach stopped its murmurs and simply started singing! Call me Miss Popeye, if you will.
The palak moong dal tastes best if you don’t skimp on the palak and brown the garlic just right. It is great with lightly buttered parathas or just plain steamed rice as long as the dal is lusciously thick and not watery. The Sindhis have a similar dal, called the Sai Bhaji. Basically, the principle is the same -green leafy vegetables in dal. The recipe for sai bhaji varies from family to family in terms of the leafy greens used as well the lentils but it remains a knockout dish nonetheless.
The palak moong dal remains my favourite although my experiment with red amaranth and moong moong dal has also been a rather regular feature in my kitchen lately… So go ahead and Popeye it up!
2 packed cups spinach washed and chopped fine.
½ cup yellow moong dal, pressure cooked.
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 dried red chillies, broken into 1” pcs
¼ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Tamarind paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp oil
- In a pan heat the oil and temper the mustard seeds. Add the garlic slices and fry till golden brown.
- Add the red chillies and lightly fry. Add the spinach and stir fry on medium heat till the spinach has just started wilting.
- Add the cooked moong dal, turmeric, red chilli, tamarind paste and salt. Mix well and add ½ cup of water.
- Simmer on low heat till dal thickens. Serve hot.