Paala Koora Pappu, Palak Dal, Lentils with Spinach – 1

Pala Koora Pappu, Palak or Spinach Dal
Pala Koora Pappu, Palak or Spinach Dal

Palak or Spinach is one of the most easily available greens and I try to make as many different dishes with it as I can.

This version of pappu or dal is something I learnt from one of our Tamil neighbours (Mrs. Balakrishnan) and is a great favourite with my family. I love it because this dal is spicy and I can have it just by itself as a soup as well.

I make this dal with green gram (pesara pappu or moong dal). However, you could make it with pigeon pea (kandi pappu or tuvar dal) as well. I prefer pesara pappu because it is lighter on the stomach.


  1. Chopped Spinach Leaves – 3 Cups
  2. Moong Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 2
  4. Asafoetida/Hing – 1/4 tsp
  5. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  6. Ghee – 1 tsp

For Masala:

  1. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  2. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  3. Pepper Corns – 8 to 10
  4. Coriander Seeds/Saboot Dhania – 1 tbsp
  5. Grated Fresh Coconut – 2 tbsp
  6. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  7. Oil – 1 tsp


  1. For Masala:
    1. In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
    2. Add udad dal and chana dal.
    3. Fry the dals till they are light brown.
    4. Add the red chillies and pepper corns.
    5. Fry for 5-7 secs.
    6. Add coriander seeds and fry for about 10 secs.
    7. Turn off the heat.
    8. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
    9. When the ingredients are cool, grind to a smooth paste with smooth water.
  2. Pressure cook the green chillies, chopped spinach, and moong dal with 2 cups of water for 3 whistles.
  3. When the dal is cooked, mix well with a heavy ladle to mash the dal to a pulp.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat the ghee.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they sputter.
  6. Add the asafoetida and fry for 2 secs.
  7. Add the mashed spinach dal, ground masala, turmeric, and salt.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Add water, if required, to form a thick dal of pouring consistency.
  10. Serve well with hot rice and ghee.


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.