A creamy, flavorful palak moong dal made with simple everyday ingredients. The easiest moong dal recipe that saves you time and calories! Learn how to make this low-calorie dal palak recipe on stovetop/ instant pot/ pressure cooker.
An easy recipe for moong dal with spinach that never fails to make an impact, whatever the time of the year and wherever you are. Like the popular chana masala, this dal can also be made in about 30 minutes (or less if you use pressure cooker or instant pot). Have this dal and rice for a delicious and quick weeknight dinner. Or use naan, chapati or paratha to scoop out this curry for a satisfying vegan Indian meal.
Moong dal is nothing but split and skinned green moong beans (and palak is spinach, if you didn’t know). Recipes with moong dal are popular because it cooks faster than most other dal varieties like chana dal and toor dal. It can be easily cooked in a pot on stove top even if you don’t have a pressure cooker or instant pot.
This dal palak recipe is mildly spiced so if you want to introduce Indian curries in your menu or to your kids, this recipe qualifies as the best candidate. One of the easiest and yummiest recipes with moong dal, it is also chockful of nutrients and uses just 2 teaspoons of oil. So HEALTHY!
Want to prepare a last-minute dinner? An inexpensive but nutritious meal? Comfort food that’s also healthy?
This spinach dal recipe will be the answer to all your woes. I promise.
Why you’ll love this easy spinach dal recipe
- I would recommend this quick and easy lentil curry recipe for newbies entering the “world of curries”.
- It doesn’t need curry powder or coconut milk.
- It requires no roasting or grinding. Just tempering towards the end of cooking.
- This dal palak recipe requires very few basic ingredients.
- It takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Or even less if you have a pressure cooker or instant pot.
- The protein-rich lentils combine with the nutrient-dense spinach to give you an entirely plant-based health boost.
(If you’re a beginner to curries and love chicken, try my 5-ingredient easy chicken curry!)
- Moong dal
- Green chilli
- Turmeric powder
- For tempering
- sesame oil or vegetable oil
- white lentils/urad dal (split & peeled black lentils)
- 1 dry red chili
- a few curry leaves
How to make dal with spinach
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)
Instant pot or pressure cooker
Place lentils with all the vegetables and spices with water (2 cups for 1 cup of moong dal) in the pressure cooker or instant pot. Pressure cook for 4 whistles on medium flame in the pressure cooker. If using an instant pot, pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Roast the whole spices for tempering and add to dal palak. It’s as SIMPLE as that.
This method takes a bit longer but is doable. Cook lentils with all the vegetables and spices, except spinach. Cook in a pot on medium flame with an additional cup of water. Do not close. When dal is cooked to a soft and creamy consistency, add spinach. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the flame. Add the tempering by roasting the whole spices and urad dal.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
If you have the time, rinse and soak the lentils for about 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. This will result in a more flavorful and creamy dal.
If you like your dal spicier, add 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder when you cook the lentils.
Add 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger for added flavor.
What do you pair dal palak with?
- Serve spinach dal with roti, naan or rice, with sides like microwave fried okra, tandoori cauliflower bites or green mango chutney.
- You can also serve it with flavored rice like pulao or turmeric brown rice with lemon.
- For a low carb meal, pair this vegan dal recipe with coconut cauliflower rice.
Health benefits of lentils
- Lentils are an inexpensive way to get a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals.
- They are great sources of health-promoting phytochemicals.
- Lentils are rich in protein, which makes them an excellent alternative to meat.
- The fiber-rich lentils improve your overall gut health.
Love lentils but not in a mood for curry? Go for the lentil soup with turmeric for that hot and spicy comfort. Or try the beetroot dal vada, a simple snack with chana dal. Summer lentil cilantro salad is another healthy lentil recipe you might just love!
More lentil and bean recipes
Health benefits of spinach
Given its health benefits such as 15 different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and rated as one of the most protein-rich vegetables, spinach can help improve your overall health and fitness levels, including heart, bone, muscle, blood, hair, skin, eye and gut health. In short, it is a superfood loaded with goodness for every part of your body!
Did you know these fun facts about spinach?
- March 26th is National Spinach Day.
- The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of Popeye in 1937.
- In the 1930’s U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption.
- Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.
- Cooking spinach increases its health benefits.
- Spinach can reduce hunger and cravings.
- Spinach is best eaten boiled since boiling gets rid of oxalic acid which is linked to kidney stones.
- During World War I, spinach juice was added to wine and given to soldiers who had been injured, because spinach pumps up production of blood.
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This post was last published in March 2018. It has been updated with new photos to give you an awesome experience.