Spinach (Paalak) Daal - Cook Republic

Spinach Daal (Paalak Daal)

  • Author: Sneh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Stew, Dinner, Mains
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegan


2 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

3 garlic cloves

Handful of coriander roots

23 slices of green cayenne chilli

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

2 bay leaves

½ inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 cup (230g) uncooked moong/mung dal

1-litre water

3 teaspoons sea salt flakes

1 bunch English Spinach (or 120g baby spinach leaves)

sweet paprika/ground chilli and melted ghee, to serve


  1. Place onion, tomato, garlic, coriander root, chilli and half a cup water in the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a deep heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add bay leaves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Immediately when the seeds start crackling, add the onion-tomato mixture. Add the ground turmeric, cumin and coriander. Sauté on medium for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the daal base is fragrant and the onion has completely cooked off and is no longer raw.
  3. Wash and rinse the mung dal. Add to the daal base in the pot and mix well. Add water and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for approximately 20-25 minutes until the dal is fluffy and cooked.
  4. Wash and rinse the spinach. Cut and discard the stems. Gather and chop the leaves thinly. Add spinach to the daal and mix well. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until spinach is wilted. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
  5. Sprinkle with some sweet paprika or ground chilli. Optionally, add a drizzle of melted ghee. Serve hot with steamed rice.



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