Spinach Dal | Dal Palak

Spinach Dal | Dal Palak

Love a quick lentil dish with leafy greens on a busy day? Try this.

My family’s most favorite, spinach dal or dal palak, is a delicious lentil dish made using toor dal or yellow split pea and spinach, which goes great with plain steamed rice, jeera rice, ragi mudde, cooked quinoa, or millets.

This recipe is simple and can be achieved in under 30 minutes if you have the ingredients ready. To make this quick dish, you will need an Indian-style pressure cooker. Or you could use the Instant Pot. Continue reading to know how to make spinach dal or dal palak.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings



1 cup or 200g of toor dal (split yellow pigeon pea), thoroughly rinsed
1 box of baby spinach (or approximately 300g), rinsed
2.5 cups of water
1 large tomato, diced
1 large onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 green chilies, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of tamarind pulp
Salt to taste

For tadka/seasoning:
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida or hing
2 dried red chilies, split into halves
One sprig of curry leaves


Pressure cooking: Into a pressure cooker, add rinsed toor dal, rinsed spinach, onion, tomato, garlic, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, green chilies, and water, and pressure cook until the lentils and other ingredients are well cooked(Which may take up to 4 whistles). Then turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.

If your lentils take longer to cook, soak them for roughly an hour before cooking them. Furthermore, if you are using large spinach leaves, rinse and chop them into smaller pieces before pressure cooking.

Once the pressure releases, mash the cooked ingredients well and adjust the consistency of dal by adding water if necessary. Stir in salt to taste and allow spinach dal to boil on medium heat for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Tadka/seasoning: Heat cooking oil in a small tadka pan. Once the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle. Then add a pinch of hing, dried red chilies, and curry leaves. Turn off heat and pour this tadka into cooked dal. Mix well, serve and enjoy healthy and delicious spinach dal with plain steamed rice.

Spinach Dal


  • Add a tablespoon of ghee to plain rice and eat it with spinach dal for best taste. (Skip if you are following a vegan diet)
  • Instead of using green chilies for spice, you could use red chili powder.
  • Spinach dal could be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and reheated before consuming.

If you tried this recipe, let me know how you like it? 🙂

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If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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