Palak Chana Dal is a wholesome Indian Bengal Gram lentil Curry with spinach. Dal Palak is easy and quick to prepare in a pressure cooker. Be sure to watch the video!
Palak Chana Dal is a popular dal recipe from North India. It is also known as dal palak as ‘palak’ is the Hindi term for spinach.
It is a vegetarian Indian main course dish with Bengal Gram (chana dal) and fresh spinach.
Healthy Benefits Of Palak Chana Dal
Bengal Gram and spinach are the powerhouses of nutrients. Combining these two into a single curry is smart 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 deficient. What could be a tastier way than this dal palak to regulate our daily iron intake?
Dal Palak Recipe Variations
Lentils: You can use any easy-to-cook lentil to make dal palak. From yellow moong dal, green moon, and 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, and spinach in the dal. The addition of a variety of greens makes dal even more nutritious.
Vegan: To make vegan dal palak, you must skip ghee to temper the dal. Substitute ghee with any other vegan cooking oil or coconut oil.
Instant Pot: Dal Palak is an instant pot-friendly dish. Or you can use an electric pressure cooker to make it (check recipe notes).
Watch Dal Palak Video
My Tried & True Tips
Ensure you soak the chana dal for at least 15 – 20 minutes before cooking. This ensures even and quick cooking of the lentil.
Do not pressure cook the chana 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.
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.
Lastly, serve and enjoy dal palak 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
Adding toppings like – chopped onion, tomato, fried egg, and coriander transforms this dal into a tasty one-pot meal.
More Indian Dal Recipes
If you try this recipe and love it, please leave a comment and a rating. This helps us grow and reach other food lovers like you.
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.