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Channa-Urad Dal Mixed With Spinach In Slow Cooker (Bengal Gram +Black Gram Dals With Spinach)
Chana, Urad Dal And Palak MIX

Mamta Gupta

Chana Urad Dal mix is quite common in north India. Here I have added spinach to it, straight from the garden. It really tastes nice, worth a try. This has been cooked in a slow-cooker, but you can cook it in a pressure cooker or on an electric or gas fire.

The water required and cooking times given here is for my slow cooker. It may vary a little, but you will know when the dal is cooked. There are other variants like the quality of the lentil, softness of water, whether the dal was soaked beforehand (soaked dals take a little less time to cook), the intensity of heat and the efficiency of your cooker. It will get easier as you cook more dals. Remember that if undercooked, you can cook a dal some more but you can't do much with an overcooked dal. Serves 4

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Ingredients

1/2 cup skinless or washed chana dal (split Bengal gram)
1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram) with skin (you can cook with skinless urad dal too, but I prefer to leave the skin.
3 cups water (use more if required later)
Salt to taste (1-1 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger root, peeled and finely chopped/grated
1 bunch of spinach leaves, washed and drained
Tarka or tempering with onions and tomatoes:
2-3 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida or hing powder
2-3 whole red chillies broken up
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
1 average sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/grated/crushed
For basic, onion free tarka or tempering
2-3 tbsp. ghee or sunflower oil. Ghee tastes better but oil is healthier.
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida or hing powder
2-3 whole red chillies broken up
1/2 tsp. chilli powder

Instructions

1.Wash both dals together well. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain the water off before cooking.
2.Cooking in a Slow Cooker
3.Place drained dals, water, spinach, turmeric, salt and ginger in a slow cooker.
4.Cook on high for a couple of hours, then turn it down to medium and let it simmer for a few hours, until dals are soft and mixed with the spinach.
5.The consistency of the dal is thick runny for me, but different people like it differently. If it looks too thick to you, add more hot water.
6.Cooking in Pressure cooker
7.Place drained dal, water, spinach, turmeric, salt and ginger in a in a pressure cooker with measured water and bring to full pressure.
8.Turn heat down to medium and cook under pressure for 5 minutes.
9.Cool before opening.
10.Cooking on a hob
11.Soaking the dal before cooking so you reduce cooking time. You will need more water. Start with3 cups and adjust as needed.
12.Place drained dal, water, spinach, turmeric, salt and ginger in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to boil and simmer briskly until dal is tender. If the dal begins to look too thick and dry, you can add more hot water.
13.Dals, when ready, should be soft but not mushy.
14.Transfer to a serving bowl.
15.Tarka or tempering with onions and tomatoes
16.Heat ghee or oil in a tarka ladle or a small pan. Ghee tastes better.
17.Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder and let the seeds start to splutter.
18.Add whole chillies, chilli powder and onions. Fry until medium brown.
19.Add tomatoes and soften them.
20.Pour over the dal and gently stir, keeping some on the top as a garnish.
21.Simple Tarka or tempering:
22.Heat ghee or oil in a tarka ladle or a small pan. Ghee tastes better but oil is healthier.
23.Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder and let the seeds start to splutter.
24.Add whole chillies and chilli powder, stir with a small spoon, add quickly (chillies burn very fast) to the cooked dal and cover with a lid immediately. This will infuse the flavours into the dal and stop the dal from splashing out during tempering.
25.Serve hot with Chapatties and Boiled Rice.
26.Also see Dal Selection.

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