Dal Saag

People who predominantly eat take away Indian food rather than cook at home may be under the impression that more dishes than not involve frying or some kind of grease! This is completely untrue – I present Exhibit A. Dal.

Dal is a brilliant mid-week recipe that is packed with protein and doesn’t involve a lot of cooking so you can put it together quickly and turn out an exciting, healthy and tasty dish with minimal effort!

Dal can be eaten on its own like a soup, or you can serve it with Chapattis or boiled rice.

You can make this dish with or without the spinach, but simply chopping the spinach after blanching and popping it in the dish after it is done is going to add an extra texture, flavour as well as iron!! So why wouldn’t you?!

So what’ll you need?

1 tbsp Ghee (or fry light spray for the healthy folk!)

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds

3-4 Curry Leaves

1 slit Green Chilli

1 Onion (or shallots for a sharper taste), finely chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1 Tomato, chopped

1/2 cup Moong Dal and 1/2 cup Toor Dal (you can use ANY lentils that you have at home or mix and match)

2 cups Chopped Spinach fresh or frozen

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

Coriander Leaves

1/2 Lemon (or lemon juice)

Water

Instant Pot Method:

Sauté mode. Add ghee. When hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves (green chilli if using) after sizzling for 30 seconds, add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until translucent.

Add the tomato and the dal. Fry for one minute.

Now add the turmeric powder and salt, add water, I like to use 1:3 dal to water ratio*.

Cancel sauté mode and pressure cook on sealing for 15 minutes. No Pressure Release.

Open lid. Back to sauté mode. Use a potato masher to gently mash the contents. Add more water if you like the consistency to be a bit more liquid.

Stir in the chopped spinach. Garnish with coriander and squeeze in the lemon juice!

Pressure cooker method:

On a medium flame, add Ghee directly to the base of the pressure cooker. When hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves (green chilli if using) after sizzling for 30 seconds, add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until translucent.

Add the tomato and the dal. Fry for one minute.

Now add the turmeric powder and salt, add water, I like to use 1:3 dal to water ratio*.

Put the pressure cooker lid on and the whistle, cook for 4 whistles and turn it off. Make sure the pressure is naturally released before opening the lid.

Use a potato masher to gently mash the lentils. Add more water if you like the consistency to be a bit more liquid.

Stir in the chopped spinach. Garnish with coriander and squeeze in the lemon juice!

Tip* When pressure cooking anything, water is the most important element, it is always preferable to add a bit more in if unsure, as less water can cause burning at the bottom of the pan and the ingredients won’t pressure cook properly.

Stovetop method:

In a saucepan, boil water. Add lentils. When it comes back up to boil, cook for five minutes uncovered, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.

Use a potato masher to gently mash the lentils. Add more water if you like the consistency to be a bit more liquid.

In a separate pan, on Medium flame, add Ghee. When hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves (green chilli if using) after sizzling for 30 seconds, add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until translucent.

Add the tomato. Fry for one minute.

Now add the turmeric powder and salt.

Add this to the dal, then stir in the chopped spinach. Garnish with coriander and squeeze in the lemon juice!

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