Most of the daal/lentils cooked in Indian way is in curry form or lets say liquid state. I have hardly come across any dry or semi dry Indian style dal or lentils; until one day when I visited my friend in Bristol. She cooked Channa Dal with Spinach and served it as a side subji. I was hooked.
Apparently Channa Palak Dal is very popular is many parts of india, just that I had it for the first time. Channa is also known as chole or chickpeas but this isn't that channa. It is chana dal or split bengal gram as known in English.
The dish is loaded with iron, minerals, proteins and what not. Palak/spinach gives this dal a green-healthy twist. Other ingredients like garlic, ginger, tomato brings up the taste value too. If you are bored having same staple tuar or moong dal then you have to try this.
1/2 cup channa dal (soaked for atleast 4-5 hours)
2 cups palak/spinach
1 large tomato, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon hing/aseofetida
1 tej patta/bay leaf
2 whole red chilles
1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon akka dhaniya/coriander seeds, crushed slightly
1/2 teaspoon haldi/turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dhaniya/ coriander powder
Red chilli powder, to taste
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
In a kadai heat oil. When oil is hot, add hing, jeera, tej patta, whole red chilies and coriender seeds. Saute for 5 seconds. Turn the flame to low.
Now add chopped garlic and ginger paste. Saute for 1 minute.
Add chopped tomato. Mix in salt, haldi, red chilli powder and coriender powder. Add half cup of water. Mix. Cover and cook for 5 minutes ot till tomatoes are soft.
Add channa dal now. Add 1 glass of water. Cook covered. On a low flame let the daal cook. Keep an eye on water quantity-you do not want dal to be over cooked or turn mashy.
Add in palak. Mix. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
You know dal is cooked when you press a grain between your thumb and finger it should mash easily.
Mix in ghee and kasturi methi before you serve.
If you forgot to soak the channa dal, I would suggest to boil it separately in an open for at least 20 minutes.