Healthy arhar dhal palak, a stew of lentils and sauteed spinach, tempered with cumin and fenugreek seeds in ghee. Nutritious and very tasty.
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Arhar Dhal Palak -Pigeon Pea Lentils with sautéed Spinach

Savoury Palak can jazz up your everyday dhal for a tasty and nutritious dish. Dhal Palak is usually made with Moong dhal, but try this recipe for a robust and flavoursome side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish, soups stews
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 serving
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • 1 cup arahar dhal pigeon pea lentils/ toor dhal
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • to taste salt
  • 1 onion about ½ cup of sliced onion
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tomato
  • ¼" Ginger piece about ½ cup of sliced tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera Cumin seeds
  • 3 - 4 Methi Fenugreek seeds
  • a few curry leaves
  • a few coriander leaves /fresh dhania leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee / Oil


  • Wash the Toor dhal, add the turmeric powder and Pressure cook in 2 cups of water for 3 whistles. Meanwhile wash and clean the spinach, ensuring there are no grits left. Set aside in a colander, to drain.
  • Chop the onions, green chilli, and tomato. Mince the ginger and garlic. Mince the curry leaves and the coriander leaves. Chop the spinach, stalks and all, into 1 - 2 cm pieces.
  • Once the dhal is done and cooker is ready to be opened, set a pan on low heat and add the ghee/ oil. Ghee, if used, gives its special aroma to the dish.
  • When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, sauté for 10 secs and add the fenugreek. Sauté for 10 - 20 secs till the fenugreek begins to darken, on low flame.
  • Add the green chilli, let it scald ( discolour). Add the curry leaf pieces so they sputter. Add the ginger, sauté for 10 secs, add the garlic and sauté for another 10-20 secs.
  • Add chopped spinach, sauté on high flame for 2 minutes. stirring continuously. Lower the flame, add chopped tomatoes and let the spinach ( which would have wilted down by now) cook for 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring so that the vegetable doesn't 'catch' the bottom of the pan or char.
  • Use a whisk gently on the dhal so that it is fluid and individual grains are not visible. Don't whisk it into a paste. Add to the spinach onion mixture. Add salt to taste, stir it in.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapatis or rice, and a dry sabzi ( vegetable), along with slices of onion and radish seasoned with salt and pepper.