Take the chana dal, masoor dal and mung dal in a bowl and rinse them together until the water runs clear. Soak in 4-5 cups water.
Peel and chop the onion, ginger, garlic and mango roughly and put in a blender along with half a cup water. Blend to a smooth puree. The onion masala is ready.
Chop the spinach roughly. If you’re using pre-washed baby spinach, you can skip this step too. Spinach wilts very easily in the hot dal.
Slice the onion and green chillies for tempering the dal. This is the last step and you can do it as the dal is cooking in the instant pot.
Turn the instant pot to sauté and add 2 tbsp oil to the inner steel insert. When it is hot, add the onion masala, the powdered spices (chilli, coriander, turmeric and garam masala), and salt. Add a few tablespoons water, mix well and cover with a lid. Simmer this masala for 8-10 minutes. Stir once or twice to make sure the masala is not sticking to the bottom. Once it’s done, the masala should be thick and shiny.
Add the soaked lentils along with all the water and close the lid. Make sure the pressure release handle is on ‘sealing’, press the pressure cooking button on high and set the timer to 15 minutes. Once the timer beeps, release the pressure after 10 minutes.
Open the pot and switch the instant pot to sauté (normal). Mix the dal well with a spoon, add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes only.
Temper the dal: Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil or ghee in a small frypan, add the sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Add the cumin and green chillies and pour carefully over the hot dal. Serve with plain, steamed rice or cumin rice.
Substitute raw mango with one big tomato (chopped) and the Kashmiri chilli powder with regular ground cayenne if you can’t get your hands on these ingredients.
Use fewer green chillies if you don’t like spicy dal.
Add 1 cup plain water to the lentils if they are too thick after opening the pot and mix well.
Serving Size:1 cup
Keywords: dal palak, lentils, Indian dal, spinach dal
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