Friday, July 19, 2013

Palakura Pappu

Palakura Pappu, aka Spinach Dal (Spinach Dal Curry), wouldn't you agree is forever the comfort dish? Especially for us Indians? Though, I must mention that sometimes I am so tired of palakura pappu because whenever you visit your relatives or Indian friends, you can pretty much expect this spinach dal dish as one of the dishes you will be tucking into whenever its a full course vegetarian meal (Vegetable KadhiNavratan Korma, Bitter Gourd Chips, Cauliflower PakoraIndian Style Mustard Greens, Tari Wale Aloo & Mor Rasam) during religious occasions? I know. Moreover, legumes are overall a favourite ingredient for Indian dishes (Chickpea Masala, Bitter Gourd Sambar, Dal Rice, Mulligatawny Soup & Mysore Sambar)? That's why, I don't cook palakura pappu as often as expected. In fact, I can off hand count the number of times I have made this dish and of course, each time I make, I try to vary the ingredients for another style instead of the same type over and over again. Thus, if you are expecting the mushy and mashed up kinda palakura pappu, I bet you will be disappointed. Instead, my version is, wouldn't you agree is rather stylish? Beautiful contrast between spinach (Spinach Tofu Stir Fry & Tomato Spinach Soup) and slightly still grainy dal in coconut milk and spices enhanced gravy and, the rest of the ingredients tempered in ghee.

1 cup dal 
1 bunch spinach - remove roots and cut into pieces
1 cup coconut milk
5 garlic - remove the skin
5 shallots - remove the skin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder
Salt for taste

1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 sprigs curry leaves
2-3 dried red chillies - cut into pieces
2 tbsp ghee

Simmer dhal with turmeric and 2 cups of water till soft.  
Add shallots, garlic, spinach, spices and salt.
Gently stir to combine the ingredients together.
When spinach becomes soft, pour coconut milk and stir again.
In another pan, heat ghee and quickly fry the tempering ingredients. 
Tip into the curry and give a good stir. 


  1. Hey Nava this looks delicious. Mom kinda prepares it the same way except that she uses coconut paste.

  2. adding coconut milk is new to me. looks delicious. surely try it.

  3. this is so good... flavorful curry with awesome presentation...

  4. Nava,

    I must confess! I have never eaten or hear of such a dish before! I can only imagine the taste using the pictures and the words you typed!

  5. That looks so lovely! Adding coconut milk...I haven't tried before. The taste must be special!

  6. Yes, no doubt on it.. Every Indian family wud have prepared the spinach with dhal, but coconut milk is a new addition rather we use coconut paste..

  7. wow, wow, wow very very healthy and comforting dal, I like that u have added coconut milk. Will try ur version the next time. Thanks Nava for sharing...

  8. Keera kootu looks beautiful and delicious,Adding coconut milk is new to me:) guess it makes it more creamy and tasty...

  9. we never add, coconut milk in this... its a nice variation i think... love it...

    Event: Dish Name Starts with U

  10. Nava we do make keerai kootu but with coconut paste and no fennel but u have inspired me to try a new version.

  11. I would prefer to replace coconut milk..
    Keep in touch

  12. Adding coconut milk is new to me.. Very healthy and yummy Spinach dal curry .. Awesome clicks..

  13. Kerrai kootu looks delicious love the addition of coconut milk to make it rich.

  14. I'm going to Indian restauran for dinner tonight, I hope they have this dish on the menu :) the color just make my mouth watering,looks so yummy with soup arround it !

  15. Spinach is my all time favorite to add in lentils and I make this daal in winters. Have to try your version with coconut milk.

  16. The only ingredient which is new is the coconut milk addition. I have never seen in any restaurant adding this, but i can imagine the amalgamation of taste and flavor the milk can give this humble keerai kootu. Also love the addition of whole garlic. I'm gonna try this!
    Looks yum and perfect with a bowl of steamed rice! The addition of milk and the presentation makes it look like posh restaurant dish!

  17. My favourite recipe but never tried with coconut milk.thanks for a new idea.Adding coconut milk
    makes it more rich, creamy & healthy.

  18. Very interesting recipe and new for me. We sometimes add spinach in our normal dal preparation but your version looks exquisite.

  19. Hi Nava, that's a very interesting recipe. Look inviting and very healthy comfort food. Thanks for sharing. Regards.

  20. Hi nava the dish is awesome lovely click and very very tempting like the coconut milk addiction to it.

  21. This is definitely a healthful dish I always enjoy. I think its' save to say spinach is one of my favorite vegetables. :) I love how tender it is after cooking.

  22. This looks absolutely delicious.I have never tried with coconut milk and would love to try with that.

  23. I too love this keerai kotu. But i have seen my mil doesn't like to add coconut milk. But when ever i prepare this i love to add the coconut milk for creamy taste. Lovely clicks Nava. :)

  24. yes Dhal curry and dhal soup are quite popular these days. Germans are loving the dhal soup and dhal curry a lot here in Germany.

  25. Lovely nutrient packed dish. I think I can easily make this a single dish meal!

  26. Awesome... noted... this can be part of my diet routine


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