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Andhra Style Palak Dal is a simple, but ultra comforting and healthy dal or curry loaded with spinach. Best enjoyed with rice and a dollop of ghee.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking Time: 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine andhra cuisine, Indian, South Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 cup tuvar dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups spinach chopped
  • 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillis finely chopped or paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • tsp asafoetida optional

For tempering (vaghar) :

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 whole dry red chillis
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • pinch asafoetida optional



  • Wash the dal  and soak it in 1½ cups of water for about 20 -30 minutes.
  • Put the dal in a pressure cooker along with the water it was soaked in.
  • Add ¼ tsp turmeric powder and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds.
  • Close the lid of the cooker and put it over medium flame. Let the dal cook for 2-3 whistles.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and stir fry till it becomes soft and starts to turn pink.
  • Add garlic, chilli and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped tomato and remaining turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder.
  • Cook till it becomes soft. Add the cooked dal.
  • Add salt and the remaining water.
  • Let the dal simmer over low heat for 10 -15 minutes.
  • Add the chopped spinach and cook till it becomes soft.
  • Add tamarind paste and mix well.


  • Heat ghee in a small pan.
  • Add cumin seeds.
  • Add dry red chillis, garlic and asafoetida. Stir fry the garlic till it begins to turn pink.
  • Add curry leaves.
  • Pour the mixture over the dal and serve immediately with rice.


  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook the dal in a saucepan till it is done.
  • You may need to add extra water.
  • If the dal is too thick add a bit of water. Usually this dal preparation is not watery.
  • Add more chilli powder if you prefer.
  • After washing the dal I prefer to soak it in warm water. It makes cooking the dal much easier.
  • To make tamarind paste, wash the tamarind and cook it in enough water till it becomes soft. When the mixture is cold, remove the fibre and seeds. Put the mixture in a blender and process till you get a paste. Strain the paste. If the mixture is too thick to puree, add a little bit more water. Store the remaining paste in the freezer for future use.
  • I prefer to add spinach at the end as I don't want it to overcook.
Keyword Andhra Style Palak Dal, Palakura Pappu, Spinach Dal, Toor Dal with Palak