Spinach and split chickpeas (palak aur chana dal)

Fresh spinach is available in fall season, there are many ways and combinations through which spinach can be cooked but this is my favorite way of cooking it. Well there are many ways but the old desi versions have special place and it tastes really good too.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh spinach (about 500 grams), chopped

1 medium size onion, chopped

6 tbsp of vegetable oil

1 ½  tbsp of red chili powder

¼ tsp of turmeric powder (optional)

3/4 tbsp of salt

6 cloves of garlic

1 inch cube of ginger

2 tsp of coriander seeds

1 medium size fresh tomato, chopped

½ cup water

½ cup of raw split chickpeas (chana dal), soaked in water overnight

PROCEDURE:

1) Rinse your spinach very well with water, 2 to 3 times. In a heavy bottom pan, add all the spinach. On medium heat of stove cook spinach for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook until all the water present in the pot evaporates. You don’t need extra water for that. Cover the lid and let it sit for a while.

2) Peel off ginger and garlic and rinse them well. Ground or mince them in a mortar and pestle, also add coriander seeds. Ground them well. Texture should be roughly like a paste.

3) Take out cooked spinach in a plate. Rinse that pan and in the same pan add vegetable oil and preheat it on medium heat. Add chopped onions in it and cook them until they get golden in color. Add a splash of water to prevent them from over cooking.

4) Add salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Stir it for 1 to 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic paste in the pan and cook it until it gets fully cooked and all the bits turned golden in color. Keep on stirring.

5) Add chopped tomatoes and ¼ cup of water. Stir and close the lid. Let tomatoes to fully cook. Keep an eye on them. After they softened try to break down a bit with the back of your spoon.

6) As tomatoes fully cooked the mixture will start separating from oil. At this stage add split chickpeas and stir well. Cook them for about 2 minutes and add remaining water in it. Close the lid and let the mixture comes to a boil. Once it comes to a boil let it simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.

7) Take out your already cooked spinach, lightly pinch the branches and leaves of spinach. Add all the spinach in the pot with all the juices of spinach. Mix it well, close lid and cook it on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid evaporates. Turn off the stove and serve.


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