Daal with spinach/fenugreek leaves (Methi daal or Palak daal)

This daal is an adaptation from 2-3 recipes. I always loved the North Indian type ‘daal palak’ and Andhra ‘pappu’. I learnt the Andhra version from my friend Lakshmi. I experimented a lot on the authentic dish. I absolutely loved all the versions. I usually make this a bit thick compared to Konkani daal, but a bit watery compared to the Andhra version. I do not like it too much sour, as sourness overcomes the taste of this dish.

Spinach or fenugreek leaves can be used for this. I tried this daal with toor daal, masoor daal, moong daal and sometimes mixture of all the three daals. Even our friend who loves only non-veg dishes is always ready to eat this dish :).

Daal(toor/masoor/moong or a mixture of all of them) 1 cup
Onion 1/2 cup
Fenugreek(methi) leaves or Spinach(palak) 1 cup (1-2 frozen blocks)
Tamarind extract 1/2 tea spn
Garlic cloves 2-3
Ghee 1 tea spn
Green chilies 2-3
Rasam powder 1 tea spn
Turmeric a pinch

Garlic cloves and rasam powder are optional. But they make the biggest difference in taste. I love this daal with both of them included.
If using normal tamarind instead of ready made extract, soak tamarind in warm water for sometime and extract the thick juice (around 1tbl spn). Usually the ready made extract is more sour, so be careful while using it.

Cook daal and greens with a pinch of turmeric. Mash them with a spoon.
Heat ghee and add chopped garlic, green chilies and onion. When onions turn slightly brownish, add daal, tamarind, 1-2 cups water, salt and cook for 6-7mins.
Add rasam powder and cook again for 3-4mins. Do not cook for a long time after adding the rasam powder, the aroma of the powder goes off by cooking longer.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

24 thoughts on “Daal with spinach/fenugreek leaves (Methi daal or Palak daal)”

  1. this dish looks quite nice shilpa- i love dhal and greens dishes too, and make them often because they are so nutritious as well. i have a rasam recipe from mysore of dhal, tomatoes and lots of dhania that you might like. i’ll send it to you to try. it is usually made sour with tamarind, but doesn’t have to be so much.
    i will try this one of yours this week…probably with moong dhal as i can still buy it for a reasonable price from the many thai/laotian groceries around here. i guess toor dhal will just get higher in price from now until march, but it’s a good thing.

  2. Hi,

    nice recipe… I would be glad if U can post the authentic andhra dhal & greens recipe… I have been looking for ir for a long time now… have tried lots of recipes but nothing matches the one we get in andhra restau in b’lore…Please post it here or send it to my email…

  3. Shilpa, this is a mouthwatering recipe. Tur dal prices being so high. I am curious to know what other dals can be used and where other bloggers are buying them.

  4. Hi Shilpa, wanted to let you know I tried this tonight with moong dal and methi. It was really delicious! You were right of course; the garlic and rasam powder made all the difference. Thanks! 🙂

  5. I made this daal yesterday with combination of tur daal and masoor daal and it turned out really good.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I am an amchilgele Mangalorean. Am familiar with North Kanara cuisine. Like your site very much. Have tried couple of recipes and find it very useful


  7. Sonia, you can add a little sambar powder or you can just ignore it and make this daal only with other ingredients. It still tastes very good.

  8. I’m browsing your collections for recipes with Methi, Shilpa! I’ve zeroed in on peanut-methi… feedback will follow tomorrow;) this daal is similar to a recipe my mom makes with fresh methi leaves and only toor daal(we call it puli itta keerai… greens with tamarind and daal… amaranth and methi are the ones my mom makes regularly). instead of rasam powder we add sambar powder and she substitutes garlic with a tbsp of freshly grated coconut. my fav way to eat greens:) my sil uses red chilli powder and coriander powder in place of sambar powder

  9. Hello Shilpa,
    I am a big fan of your recipes. I am looking for a eggplant recipe thats easy to make and one which is without any coconut. Preferably a north indian or a gujrati style one.
    many thanks

  10. Wow my mouth is watering! I have never heard of Rasam powder?

    Shilpa: Its a spice powder readily available in Indian stores.

  11. Hi, Shilpa. I wanted to try this daal/palak recipe as I have cooked Indian food before and love it. One question: I have heard of Rasam powder and I know you said it is available in Indian food shops but what is in it and what does it taste like? Cheers, Mark in Toronto, Canada

    Shilpa: Mark, it is mixture of different spices like coriander, pepper, cumin etc. There is one good rasam powder(podi) recipe on Jugalbandi which I have used many times and liked

  12. Edward (Australia)

    I did a google search and found your Methi Dal receipe. I tried with rasam powder and garlic. After a greasy christmas food, this is simple and taste great.

    Thank you

  13. Hi!
    I tried this recipe twice and it turned out simply superb … my family loved it too 🙂 You won’t believe but I’m making this again “Today” … Thank u sooo much 🙂 I will try to click the picture of my dal and send if I can 🙂 once again thank u 🙂

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