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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Palak Cheera Parippu Curry | Spinach Dal

Spinach Dal (Palak cheera Parippu curry) is a simple yet healthy curry that can be served with chapathis or rice.The spinach leaves add iron and dal is rich in protein and they both a great combo.I frequently make this curry as we love this combo.Kids love to squeeze a quarter piece of lime and then enjoy.This can be made without many efforts.The leaves should be cleaned well to remove dirt and the leaves should be checked well for any worms too.Always wash the leaves before chopping.You can even add the spinach leaves with the dal and cook.But I prefer to do the below method as that helps to retain the leaves in shape than previous mentioned.You can use whichever is comfortable and try !!

Preparation time ~20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
tuvar dal (sambar parippu) 1/4 cup
split moong dal 1/4 cup
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp

palak/cheera half of a bunch or 1.5-2 cups chopped
onion 1 small chopped fine
tomato 1 finely chopped or purée 1/2 cup
ginger chopped 2 tsp
garlic chopped 2 tsp
hot chilly powder 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp\
garam masala 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2 tbsp

for tempering
red dry chillies 2 broken
curry leaves, 2 sprigs
Kashmiri chilli powder 1/2 tsp
asafoetida (hing) a good pinch  
ghee 1 tbsp

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  • Wash the spinach leaves under running water until clear.Chop the leaves in small and keep aside.
  • In a cooker, add the washed tuvar dal and split moong dal.Add double the amount of water, turmeric powder and light salt.Pressure-cook the dal for 3–4 whistles and wait till pressure releases.
  • Now, heat another pan and add oil.When oil is hot, add cumin seeds, wait to sizzle.Then, add in chopped ginger and garlic, sauté until the raw smell disappears and lightly crisp.Finally, add in chopped onions and curry leaves.Sauté until translucent.
  • Add in the hot chilly powder.Sauté until the raw smell disappears on low flame without burning.Now, add in the chopped spinach leaves and tomato.Sauté until the spinach leaves are wilted.Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  • Then, add the cooked dal and let the mixture come to a boil.Add 1 cup water and adjust salt as required.
  • Cook covered for around 7–10 mins on medium flame until the dal cooks, mashes and gets blended with the cooked spinach.(Give a stir in between so that the dal doesn't get burnt at the bottom and leave the flame on low medium).
  • Heat a pan for tempering. Add ghee and ad in broken red chillies, followed by curry leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder. Switch off flame and add a pinch of hing (kayam podi). Pour the tempering over the cooked dal and leave covered for 5 minutes. Mix and serve.
  • Switch off flame and serve warm.Squeeze half of a lime when serving if you love it tangy or just like that.

* If you wish to make the gravy thicker and flavourful, you can grind grated coconut(1/2 cup) with cumin seeds(1/2 tsp) and a garlic clove to a smooth paste.Add this to the dal mixture on low flame, simmer for two minutes and then serve.I haven't added ground coconut paste, as we love it this way.
* Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds too in the tempering if needed.
* Add chopped coriander leaves too if you like that.
* You can use one da and prepare too, in that case use 1/2 cup of a dal for this measure.
* You can add the spinach leaves and dal together to the pressure cooker, I prefer cooking separately as this tastes better.

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