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paganum



Chana Dal With Spinach In Slow Cooker (Bengal Gram Dal With Spinach)
Chana Dal And Palak MIX

Mamta Gupta

In this recipe, I have replaced the traditional mix of Mung dal (Green gram) and Spinach, with Chana dal (Bengal gram) and Spinach. It works equally well. I have cooked it in a slow-cooker, but you can cook it in a pressure cooker or in a pan.

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. Remember that if undercooked, you can cook a dal some more but you can't do much with an overcooked dal. If you need to add more water during cooking, try adding boiling hot water. Serves 4

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Ingredients

1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
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. This dal always tastes better with fresh ginger.
1 bunch of spinach leaves, washed and drained. If leaves are large, chop them up.
Tarka or tempering with onions and tomatoes:
2-3 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida or hing powder (asafoetida in dals and beans prevents flatulence)
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 (optional)
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 the dal well. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain the water off before cooking.
2.Cooking in a Slow Cooker
3.Place drained dal, 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. Stir a couple of times during cooking.
5.The consistency of the dal is variable, 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 the cooker 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 is important, so that you reduce cooking time. You will need more water than in a slow cooker. Start with 3 cups and adjust as needed.
12.Place drained dal, water, spinach, turmeric, salt and ginger in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to boil, close lid and simmer briskly until dal is tender. If the dal begins to look too thick and dry, you can add more hot water.
13.When ready, the dal 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 pan. Ghee tastes better than oil.
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 the dal into the pan and cover with the lid to allow the smoky flavours to infuse. Later on, stir gently, keeping some of the chilli-ghee mix 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, stirring with a small spoon (chillies burn very fast). Pour over 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. Later on, stir gently, keeping some of the chilli-ghee mix on the top as a garnish.
25.Later on, stir gently, keeping some of the chilli-ghee mix on the top as a garnish.
26.Serve hot with Chapatties and Boiled Rice.
27.Also see Dal Selection.

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