Dal Palak Dhaba Style

Dal Palak Dhaba Style

Unusual yet popular

Here is a dish very popular in the state of Maharashtra in India. But it does have its many variants in other parts of the country as well. This dish combines the goodness of dal and the nutritive powers of Spinach. The combination makes it a two-in-one go to meal that is quick to make and delicious to eat.

A unique Combination of flavours

The combination of dal and Palak or spinach leaves has an unusual taste. The flavour comes from the addition of spices etc that are added during tempering.

It speciality is its different aspects

The two ingredients are diverse in nature. One is a lentil and the other a vegetable. Its speciality lies in the fact that these two come together to make a delicious dish that is nutritious and healthy in all respects. Kids love the unusual taste and mothers are happy because they have fed their children a wholesome nutritious meal.

Serve with spice

Dal Palak goes well with rice, chapatis or flatbreads made of pearl millet flour or Bajra and Sorghum/ New Quinoa or Jowar flour. A side of extra tempering add a rich spicy taste to it. The recipe for the extra tempering is given after the nutritive content.

Bajra and Jowar belong to the cereal grain family and are rich in nutrients.


Dal Palak


You need to prepare a little in advance for this recipe. Soak and pressure cook your Tur Dal. Soak spinach leaves in salt water or water with a grain or potassium permanganate to eliminate germs. Wash in clean water ensuring the salt/potassium has washed out clean.

Chop your spinach fine. Keep aside. Now prepare the ingredients for the tempering and cooking. 


  • Two measures Tur Dal
  • Two measures chopped spinach
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1/4th teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4th teaspoon asafoetida or hing
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 4 flakes of garlic…finely chopped or grated
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Two measures water
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/4th teaspoon lemon juice

How to make

  1. Take a wok or saucepan. Put on medium heat and add oil.

  2. Add mustard seeds or Rai and wait for it to crackle. This means the oil is hot and ready to use. 

  3. Add asafoetida 

  4. Add turmeric

  5. Add red chilli powder

  6. Add garlic

  7. Add onion and stir fry for two minutes.

  8. Now add your chopped spinach. Mix well

  9. Add salt and pinch sugar. 

  10. Mix well and let cook for a few minutes. 

  11. You will see that your spinach is releasing water. You can let the water dry out or you can add your dal to it. The water adds to the taste and flavour of your Dal Palak, so it is recommended that you add the pressure-cooked dal to the wok as soon as you see the spinach releasing water. 

  12. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. 

Your Dal Palak is ready to serve. Have it with rice or with unleavened breads made of pearl millet or bajra and Sorghum or Jowar. You could also have it with regular whole wheat chapatis.


Your Dal Palak is best served hot and fresh. Although it will keep a day or two under refrigeration, there is a change in its taste and flavour.

This quantity cooked can serve 2-3 people depending on their appetites and if it is a solo dish or as part of a menu. Serve with a dollop of ghee on top. Serve hot.

The nutritive contents of Dal Palak are very high as it combines the goodness of Tur dal and Spinach.

  1. Energy 72 cal
  2. Protein 3.5 g
  3. Carbohydrates 8.6 g
  4. Fibre 1.9 g
  5. Fat 2.6 g
  6. Cholesterol 0 mg


  1. Vitamin A 1371.5 mcg
  2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1 mg
  3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1 mg
  4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.5 mg
  5. Vitamin C 7.7 mg
  6. Vitamin E 0.5 mg
  7. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 42.6 mcg


  1. Calcium 34.3 mg
  2. Iron 1 mg
  3. Magnesium 27.1 mg
  4. Phosphor 47 mg
  5. Sodium 17.8 mg
  6. Potassium 200.1 mg
  7. Zinc 0.2 mg

Remember these are approximate values only based on a regular 2000 calorie diet. The values would change with any change or modification in the ingredients used.

Quick Summary

The recipe calls for preparing the dal with Palak, tempered with mustard seeds or rai and added spices. Tur Dal works best with this combination, but you can use other lentils too.

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