Palakura Pappu

Spinach and lentil stew with South Indian spices
Ingredients - Serves 4-5
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped or 4 blocks of frozen spinach
  • 30 g tamarind
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • ½ cup split pigeon peas (toor dal) or split red lentils (masoor dal) (split pigeon peas/toor dal will take longer to cook)
  • 1½-2 cups water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the tempering
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies, broken into small pieces
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  1. Cook the lentils separately until soft and mushy
  2. Use a {pressure cooker} to speed up the cooking
  3. Heat ½ cup of water and soak the tamarind for 10-15 minutes. Using your fingers, squeeze out the juice and discard everything else. Set aside
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry fenugreek seeds until they start to brown. Add mustard seeds and dried red chillies and fry till the mustard seeds start to splutter
  5. Add the chillies and a pinch of asafoetida. Mix in the spinach and tamarind juice and cook until soft and mushy
  6. Add turmeric and red chilli powder, mix well
  7. Mix in the cooked pigeon peas (toor dal) or red lentils (masoor dal), add the remaining 1-1½ cups of water and bring to a boil
  8. Season with salt and serve hot with rice
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