Palak Chana Dal is a healthy, wholesome, gluten-free Indian style Bengal Gram Curry with spinach. Dal Palak is super easy and quick to prepare in a pressure cooker. For a complete meal, serve palak chana dal with crispy, flaky whole wheat paratha or piping hot chapati and mint raita.
Healthy Benefits Of Palak Chana Dal:
Bengal Gram (chana dal) and spinach are the powerhouses of nutrients. Combining these two into a single curry is definitely a smart idea to include the right amount of iron in our everyday diet.
On a busy weekday, we get so much lost in the chaos of life that the nutrient part of any meal is almost neglected.
Due to improper diet, pregnancy, monthly periods, and many other zillion reasons, we women are mostly iron deficit. What could be a tastier way then this dal palak to regulate our daily iron intake?
Recipe Variations Of Dal Palak:
Lentils: You can use any easy to cook lentil to make dal palak. From yellow moong dal, green moon, pink masoor to pigeon peas, any of these lentils can easily substitute Bengal gram in this healthy palak chana dal recipe.
Greens: If you are in a mood to experiment, combine tender radish leaves, kale or methi leaves along with spinach in the dal. The addition of a variety of greens makes dal even more nutritious.
Vegan: To make vegan dal palak, all you need to skip ghee for tempering the dal. Substitute ghee with any other vegan cooking oil or coconut oil. Once the ghee is skipped, this dal palak is a 100% vegan curry.
Instant Pot: Dal Palak is an instant pot-friendly dish. Or you can use an electric pressure cooker to make this delicious dal curry (check recipe notes).
Watch Step-By-Step Dal Palak Video:
My Tried & True Tips
Make sure you soak the dal at least for 15 – 20 minutes before cooking. This ensures even and quick cooking of the lentil.
Do not pressure cook the dal for too long and with too much water. It might turn mushy.
Ghee not only provides a flavor to the dal it is also good fat. But try not to overload the dal with the ghee.
Spinach should not be cooked for too long as its nutrients get wasted during the long cooking process. Once leaves turn soft add the dal.
Last but not least, serve and enjoy Palak Chana Dal while it is warm and fresh. Because fresh food is always healthier than stale meals the next day.
I LOVE to enjoy chana dal palak with:
Chapati or Roti
Steamed Basmati Rice
Vegetable Pulao or Jeera Rice
The addition of toppings like – chopped onion, tomato, fried egg, and coriander, transforms this dal into a tasty one-pot meal.
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Palak Chana Dal Recipe
- 1 Cup Chana Dal (Bengal Gram)
- 1 green chili, sliced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 2 whole dry red chilies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 Cup finely chopped onion
- 2 Cup finely chopped spinach
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Pressure Cook Dal:
- Clean, wash and soak the chana dal in water for 10 – 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain water from the soaked dal.
- Transfer chana dal to a pressure cooker along with ginger, green chili, cinnamon stick, star anise, salt and 2 cups of water. Stir to mix and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Pressure cook the dal over low heat till it is soft or al-dente but not mushy. This usually takes 10 minutes. Allow the steam to release naturally from the pressure cooker. Open the lid and check the lentil for doneness.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
- Add the cumin seeds and dry red chilies. Saute for 10 seconds.
- Next, add the chopped onion and fry till they turn light brown.
- Add the chopped spinach and spices. Stir to combine and cook for 1 – 2 minutes or till the leaves become soft.
- Now add the pressure cooked dal and mix nicely. Cove and cook the day for 5 minutes over low heat.
- Serve Palak Chana Dal warm with chapati and mint raita.