05.29.12_Dal Palak

It has been a while since we made an Indian dish so when I came across a recipe for "Very Simple Dal Palak" which is vegan, I thought it would be a good one to try out. The original recipe said it made 8 cups which seemed like way too much so I decided to half the recipe. And I'm really glad I did because we still had more than enough for two dinners and two lunches. I am continually surprised by how easy these Indian dishes are. They are always super simple, they just use spices that you might not normally have on hand. The only unsual spice this recipe called for was Garam Masala, which I had from when we made the Paneer Tikka Masala, otherwise the ingredients were very straight forward. Here's the recipe cut in half:
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 packages (about 8 ounces) mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium-sized red or white potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 5 ounce bunch of spinach (or more if desired)
  • 1/2 cup lentils (the recipe called for red but I had black on hand and used those instead)
  • 1/2 cups of water or broth
  • 1 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 scallions, chopped
For my birthday my parents got me new Calphalon pots and pans so I was super excited to use them for the first time making this recipe. In a large soup pot, I sauteed the onion and mushrooms in some olive oil. While those were browning, I diced the potato then added it to the pot. After a couple of minutes and the edges of the potato started to become translucent, I made a well in the middle of the pot and added the garlic, ginger, and all the spices. I stirred everything together before adding in the tomatoes (and their juices), the lentis, and the spinach. I tossed everything together so that all the spinach would start to wilt. Finally, I added the water and brought to a boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for about 45 minutes. At the very end I tossed in the chopped scallions, reserving a few for garnish. 

We served the Dal Palak over a bed of rice with some store bought naan on the side. The apartment smelt so good while this was cooking and the end result was super delicious. I think this would actually be a great recipe to try and cook in a slow cooker because it seems like the type of dish that would only get better the longer it cooked. Definitely a good recipe to try if you want to try a very easy Indian dish that doesn't hit you over the head with a ton of spices.

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