I used to make this simple but colorful and exotic dal curry every few weeks years ago when my repertoire of vegetarian recipes was far more limited than now. But I never minded. The creamy combination of warm, sweet and nutty toor dal...
I used to make this simple but colorful and exotic dal curry every few weeks years ago when my repertoire of vegetarian recipes was far more limited than now. But I never minded. The creamy combination of warm, sweet and nutty toor dal cooked with tangy tomatoes, tart lemon juice and earthy spinach greens is as delicious as it is simple. Served over a bed of fresh hot cooked rice, or with some flatbreads, it is an easy and wonderful meal for any season.
I discovered a new craving for this tried and true dish recently, and decided to revisit it again. I found that it is just as delicious as ever. I guarantee that it will warm your spirits and earn the esteem of anyone you serve it to.
Toor dal — also known as toovar dal or split pigeon peas — has a mild sweet, earthy and nutty taste that goes very well with tart or tangy spicings, which is why it is a staple in south Indian kitchens. It also has a fuller texture when cooked than many other dals, making it perfect for sambars and dry-textured curries like this one. It is always easily found in any Indian or Asian grocer, and I always have a good supply on hand. You may substitute yellow split peas with lovely results as well.
Toor Dal and Spinach (Toor Palak Dal)
Recipe by Lisa Turner
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Published on June 17, 2013
Zesty and tangy, this colorful dry-textured toor dal curry with chopped spinach is nourishing, delicious and simple to make
Print this recipe
1 cup toor dal or yellow split peas
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1 large tomato, cut into 8 or 12 thin wedges
2 to 3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 bunch fresh spinach, trimmed and chopped
juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
small handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Rinse the toor dal or split peas and soak in several inches of warm water for 3 to 5 hours. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan or wok and cover with 1 1/2 cups of fresh water. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee or oil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the dal or split peas are tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
Wipe the saucepan or wok clean and add the remaining ghee or oil. Heat over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cumin seeds turn brown. Toss in the asafetida, stir once, then immediately add the tomato, chilies, ground coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in the dal or split peas, lower the heat to medium-low, and add the lemon juice, salt and garam masala. Cook for a few minutes longer until the mixture is fairly dry. Serve immediately, garnished with the chopped parsley or cilantro.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Also recommended from Lisa's Kitchen:
Toor Dal Soup
Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup
Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal
On the top of the reading stack: notes
Audio Accompaniment: morning silence© Copyright 2007—2013 Lisa's Kitchen. For personal use only.If you are seeing this post on a site other than foodandspice.blogspot.com, it is being stolen.