Urad Dal with Toor Dal and Spinach and Parsley

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
urad dal with toor dal and spinach

I adore simple but flavorful dal soups that are easy to digest. The most time consuming process for this recipe is the preparation, but even that won't take long. A creamy and spicy dish, it pairs well with rice and naan bread. Indian vegetarian dishes occupy a central role in my cooking. The aromas are soothing and stimulate the appetite, and dal dishes such as this one are easy to digest too. Ingredients used in this dish that you might not be able to obtain from your local supermarket can easily be found at Indian and Asian grocery stores. I'm like a kid in a candy shop when I visit such stores, as there is always something new to explore and add to my overstuffed kitchen.

I adapted this recipe from 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra. I have written about this book in the past and often find myself pulling it off the shelf when I am not quite sure what to make for dinner and want some inspiration. Though not strictly vegetarian, those who don't eat meat will be sure to find lots of dishes to please their palates and vegans won't be disappointed either. How could you be when you have so many recipes contained in a fat volume right there for you to explore?

The book features tried and true recipes from various regions of India including not only main dishes, but spice blends, sides (including rice dishes and vegetable dishes), chutneys and pickles, appetizers and snacks, salads, breads, desserts and beverages. This is one book you will not want to be without, whether you are a seasoned Indian cook or just learning about the unique and varied dishes that originate from and are inspired by Indian cuisine. The suggested menu selections, introductions to the recipes, description of kitchen basics and glossary are very helpful and informative.

Urad Dal with Toor Dal and Spinach and ParsleyUrad Dal with Toor Dal and Spinach and Parsley
Recipe by
Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 6, 2012

A simple, creamy and spicy Indian dal curry great for serving as a light dinner with rice or naan bread

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

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  • 3/4 cup skinless urad dal, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup toor dal or chana dal, rinsed
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 lb (450 g) spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • dash of mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 2/3 teaspoon garam masala or goda masala for garnish
  • In a large saucepan, combine the dals, water, turmeric and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the dal is soft, about 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

  • Now add the spinach to the saucepan, along with most of the parsley (reserve a little for garnish) and continue to cook until the spinach is wilted, about 15 minutes.

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a medium-sized saucepan or frying pan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and stir and fry until they darken a few shades. Add the onion to the pan and stir and fry until the onion is golden. Next add the chilies, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, ground cumin, fenugreek seeds, paprika, asafetida, mustard powder and salt. Stir and fry for a minute, then add the tomatoes. Continue to cook until this mixture thickens up. Transfer to the saucepan with the dal and spinach and mix well.

  • Serve hot and garnish with garam masala or goda masala and the remaining parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

urad dal with toor dal and spinach and parsley

More Indian split bean recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and Coconut
Urad Dal with Fresh Fenugreek
Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce
Tarka Dal

On the top of the reading stack: "The Law" by Frédéric Bastiat

Audio Accompaniment: Kasper Bjørke


Rosh said...

That looks so good!! I think Im seeing such a superb click of dal for the first time :-) Love the addition of parsley...never tried it...makes it more nutritious! Superb recipe Lisa...thanks loads for sharing this on my space.

P.S. Im tempted to buy another cookbook :-D

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Looks nice dish