Spinach Daal – A staple in Indian homes, daal is a healthy lentil dish cooked in ghee with healthy and whole some ingredients like tomatoes, garlic and spinach. Best way to make it is in a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot!
A few weeks back I published a post on Indian Pulses. The lentils I used for making today’s spinach daal in Instant Pot are the ‘split and skinned green gram’. These are small yellow lentils that cook super fast. Yellow pigeon peas or split red lentils would be my other two favorite lentils to make this daal.
Growing up, I remember eating many variations of Indian daals made by my mom. Spinach daal is one of her recipe that I adapted for my busy life style with little children. This daal beautifully incorporates protein and veggies in one dish. Served with steamed rice it sure makes a wholesome and hearty meal. Over the years I have simplified my mom’s recipe and here is my version that we enjoy frequently:
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- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2 green chilies slit into half
- 2 tbsp garlic chopped
- 8 curry leaves optional
- 2 plum tomatoes diced
- 1 cup lentils split and skinned green gram or split red lentils or yellow pigeon peas
- 2 cups spinach rough chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 4-5 cups of water
- Turn Instant Pot on. Once the "hot" sign displays, add ghee. Add cumin and cook for 30 seconds. Add turmeric, green chilies, garlic and curry leaves. Mix well.
- Add tomatoes, lentils, salt and 2 cups of water. Give a quick stir.
- Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Set Instant Pot to Manual(HI) for 15 mins. Allow Natural pressure release or do Quick Release, after, about 5 mins of NPR.
- Add more water, about 2 cups, to bring the lentils to desired consistency. Blend the daal using immersion blender. Add chopped Spinach and mix well. Cook on Sauté mode until the daal come to gentle boil. Turn IP off. Add more water if required. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve hot with steamed basmati rice.
Everyone has a different consistency they like for the daal. I usually put about 4-5 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils.
Cook Time for this recipe can also be reduced to 8 minutes!
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.