This is a meal I grew up eating. It’s also called Daal Palak! but this daal is not limited to spinach. My mom would add loads of spinach, fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves to the daal to make a creamy delicious dish. It was my favorite way to eat greens and I continue to make it at least once a week.
Trader Joe’s in the U.S has these bagged greens called Power to the Greens that’s a wonderful mix of baby spinach, baby kale and baby chard. We love it in smoothies, salads and warm dishes. If you have something similar use it, if you don’t no big deal you can always mix up your own blend of greens. (This is not a sponsored post by Trader Joe’s, I just love this product)
When it came to eating vegetables I was a good kid, there are very few vegetables I didn’t eat. I love veggies more than fruits anytime. And that’s how I raised my kids too. They don’t complain much about eating veggies maybe eggplant and a few gourds here and there. My secret start them young and get them involved in grocery shopping, prepping and the cooking process. When kids own what they do they feel accomplished and successful.
Anyway let’s talk GREENS!
In my opinion green vegetables should be its own food group along with protein and carbs. It’s amazing how good they are for you. I try to eat them everyday or at least 4-5 times a week. Here are some of the benefits.
- They are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene, lutein and host of other micro nutrients
- They are anti-aging. They protect your DNA and telomeres.
- Protects heart health by regulating production of erythropoietin which decreases blood viscosity that reduces blood clots and heart attacks.
- Dietary fiber found in dark green leaves helps regulate cholesterol and trygliceride levels.
- Consuming greens benefits Nitric oxide that regulates our internal blood pressure regulators.
- High homocysteine has been linked with cardio vascular diseases, but greens provide substrates that convert homocysteine into harmless amino acids.
To greens with daal
- 6-7 cups about 250-300 grams, 10 oz of mixed organic Power Baby Greens or use one or 2 kinds (spinach, kale, mustard, chard, collards, tatsoi) I used 2bags “Power to the Greens” from Trader Joe’s (not sponsored)
- 1/4 cup yellow split peas (also called chana dal) find them in Indian grocery stores or loose bins in health food stores like Wholefoods (washed and soaked for 30minjtes in warm water)
- 3/4 cup red lentils or washed moong dal ( washed and soaked for 30 minutes)
- 3 -4 cups water for cooking the beans
- 2 tbsp any neutral tasting oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 inch piece ginger grated or less if you don’t like strong ginger flavor
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon asefodita (optional) but recommended
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3-4 plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves)
- 1-2 hot green chili (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
- salt as needed
- In a large sauce pan add both the lentils and split peas and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer 20-25 minutes until the peas are cooked. Take it off the heat from heat and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large soup or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, chopped onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. Next, add the garlic, ginger and asefodita. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, green chili, salt and cook until the tomatoes are soft, stirring regularly. This is your masala!
- While the tomatoes are cooking, wash and pat the greens dry. Roughly chop the greens and add it to the pot.
- If you want to daal to look very green, save one cup of chopped greens place it in a blender with 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth and transfer to the pot.
- Add the cooked lentils-peas, dried fenugreek leaves, (add water if it’s too thick) to the pot and simmer further for another 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly until everything is well incorporated. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Greens with daal pairs really well with rice.
- To make the cauli rice finely shred 1/2 a small cauliflower. Wash and drain 1 cup of rice.
- Cook rice as usual. Add cauliflower at the last 5 minutes of the cooking process on top of the regular rice. Finish cooking and serve with daal.
Hope you like it. If you make it please tag me. I would love to see your creation.