Both the girls need their dal (lentils) at least once a week and I love it! It makes me so happy that they turn to Indian food for comfort and norm. I try to vary out the dals that I feed them so they get a variety of nutrients and flavors and I get to rotate my lentils.
Toor dal or pigeon peas, are high in protein and fiber and don’t pack a lot of calories. Combined with the iron, calcium, potassium and folate in the spinach, this dish counts as a superfood in my mind. The fact that my girls love it…… score!
This week, Sanaya came up to me and asked me what was for lunch. Honestly, it was 11am and I hadn’t even thought of lunch. So I asked her what she wanted and I was hoping she would say chicken nuggets (yes, believe it or not, I do stock those. Usually I don’t, but in times of quarantine, I stocked up on pretty much everything I could think of…. and get my hands on).
She instead asked for Kali Dal. While I would normally oblige her for any of her healthy requests, I couldn’t with this one because of the timing. It actually takes me about an hour from prep to opening the instant pot for the kali dal.
I digress though. So I asked her if she would eat spinach dal instead as that would take me 15 minutes to make, with only 5 minutes cooking in the pot (literally from prep to serving!) and it is a pantry essential for me as I always have the ingredients on hand. Luckily, she acquiesced. Even Aishani was excited about spinach dal.
Recently, my girls have decided they like spinach because it makes their muscles bigger with each bite like Popeye! They eat it in their dal, in soups, in salads (a recent occurrence I assure you), their tacos, and sometimes, just the raw leaves. Initially, both P and I were surprised but went with it. Now, I take quiet pride and thank Popeye for ever existing.
This spinach dal is one of the easiest and most basic Indian dals ever and I love it because it a one pot stop, filled with nutrition, and a family favorite. Honestly, I have to stop talking about it so I don’t jinx how good this is.
Just a tip, I make this in the instant pot but you can also make it in the pressure cooker the same way. I’ll include the variations in my notes.
Try it out and see for yourself.
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope this becomes your house staple.
The tempering pan is the not the same that I have as mine was given to me by my mom (which she got from India), however, the one I am showing is the one I would buy if mine needs to be replaced.