Palakura Pappu/Spinach Dal



Prep + Cooking time: 35 mins

Serves: 4 or 5




– Palakura/Palak/Spinach – 1 bunch

– Toor Dal – 1n1/2 cups

– Onions – 1/2

– Green Chillies – 4

– Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

– Red Chilli powder – 1n1/4 tsp

– Salt – 1n1/2 tsp or to taste

– Tamarind juice – 3 to 4 tsps

For the popu/tadka/tempering,

– Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

– Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

– Dry red chillies – 3

– Curry Leaves – a fistful


1. In a pressure cooker, take toor dal. Rinse well under running water. Add about 3 cups of water (double the amount of dal).

2. Turn on the stove. Add chopped onions, green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Cover with the cooker lid. Place the whistle and cook until 4 or 5 whistles or as per the cookers’ efficiency. When done, remove from stove and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the lid.

3. In the meanwhile, take some tamarind (enough to get 3 or 4 tsps of juice) in a bowl. Give a quick rinse under water. Add some water and heat it for a minute or two. Then, squeeze out the juice and set aside.

4. Add the tamarind juice to the dal. Get the dal to a boil.

5. For the popu/tadka, in a small pan heat about 2 tsps of oil. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves. Fry for a minute or two. Then, add it to the dal and spinach dal is ready.



Serve over warm white rice with pickle and papad on the side. Add ghee for added flavor if you are not counting calories.