Spinach Moong Dal fry | Palakura Pesarapappu Vepudu
Spinach Moong Dal fry is one of the popular dishes in the Telugu household. It is super easy and quick to prepare in a pan/kadai on the stovetop. Serve it as a dry accompaniment to Indian flatbread or rice. I have already shared many sabzi recipes that you can serve with any Indian meal.
Moong dal is a well-known legume in Indian cuisine.
Leafy vegetables and lentils complement each other perfectly and are an excellent combination of carbohydrates, protein, iron, and minerals.
Unlike palak pappu (palak dal) which is a liquid dal, this is more like a stir fry. This is one of my all-time favorite stir fry recipes.
About Spinach Moong Dal fry recipe
The spinach moong dal fry recipe is one of the easiest recipes.
In Telugu, this dish is called Palakura (Spinach) Pesarapappu (Moong dal) Vepudu (fry). This Andhra-style recipe is straightforward and anyone can prepare it in less than 20 minutes.
The secret to making the best sukhi palak moong dal is using minimal pantry ingredients and basic Indian spices.
My palak moong dal dry recipe is mildly spiced, but the aromatics and spices make the sabzi very flavorful.
I prefer to cook in a pan on the stovetop and do not prefer a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking overcooks the dal and there is a slight change in the taste too.
The best part of palakura pesarapappu vepudu is that you do not need to follow a standard recipe. You can customize the ingredients as per your preference.
This is my go-to recipe whenever I’m bored with regular dal, in a bad mood, stressed out, a busy day at the office.
Reasons to make
No blending or roasting.
Moong dal cooks faster than most other lentil varieties like chana dal, toor dal, masoor dal.
Needs minimal ingredients, yet is full of flavors.
The tempering enhances the taste of the dish.
One of the best comfort food.
Light on the stomach and easy to digest.
Can customize spice level as per your family member’s taste preference.
Soul-satisfying that can be made within no time.
The pale yellow color of moong playing off the rich green of spinach is visually delightful.
Can enjoy for both, lunch as well as dinner.
Weekday option for school or office lunch box.
Health benefits of Spinach and Moong Dal
Combining leafy vegetables and yellow lentils makes the dish powerhouse of nutrients. It is definitely a smart idea to include greens in your everyday diet.
Dal and palak leaves both are rich sources of vitamins and minerals – Vitamin A, B6, B9, and C.
Moong dal is a good source of protein which is necessary to nourish muscles of all age groups.
Spinach is known as a super-food. The power of this leafy veggie can be seen in the cartoon, Popeye the Sailor Man. It is one of the richest plant sources of Iron. Nutritionists and Dietitians recommend it to be part of a healthy diet for everyone.
Palak is rich in roughage, it improves the digestive system and removes toxic waste from the body. Because of the fiber content in spinach, it is considered one of the superfoods for diabetics.
Soak the moong dal for at least 30 mins. This reduces the cooking time of the lentil and avoids bloating.
Moong dal should retain its shape and have a bite. Do not over the dal, it will turn mushy.
Always look for crisp, bright green palak leaves with no dark, without lots of holes, bruised patches, and thin, and flexible stems. If the stems are thick, discard (use a knife to cut the stems) them before washing.
Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly, especially the ones sold in bunches as they can contain a lot of dirt and debris.
Do not leave spinach leaves soaking in water too long, as water-soluble nutrients will leach out of the leaves.
Cook the spinach only till tender. By overcooking, it will lose its nutrients.
Green leafy vegetables contain natural salt. So, while cooking any green leafy veggies, it is recommended to add less salt.
Hing enhances the taste of any dal and makes dal easier to digest. So, do not skip it.
To retain the green color of palak, cook it without covering the pan.
Ingredients to make Moong dal with spinach
Spinach: In this recipe, I have used Indian spinach that is larger than baby spinach. These taste better when heated up. You can use frozen spinach as well.
Lentils: also known as petite yellow lentils, split moong dal/mung dal, or split yellow mung beans.
Onion: Adds crunch. However, it’s optional.
Spices: ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, and red chili powder.
Tempering: oil of choice, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, green chilies, dry red chilies, and asafoetida.
Coriander leaves to garnish.
Salt to taste.
How to make Palak Moong Dal sabzi
Rinse the moong dal well until the water runs clear. Soak in sufficient water for at least 30 mins.
Discard the thick stems and leaves with holes, or show signs of mold. Fill a bowl with water and add the spinach leaves. Stir with your hand and let it sit for a minute. Drain the water and repeat once again. Finely chop the leaves and keep them aside.
Spinach moong dal fry recipe
Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. When hot, add cumin, chopped green chilies, and dry red chilies. Let the cumin crackle. Add asafoetida and saute for 5 seconds.
Add sliced onions and curry leaves and saute till onions turn soft.
Next, add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away.
Add turmeric powder and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the soaked dal without water and mix well. Stir for 5 seconds.
Next, add the chopped spinach leaves and fry until leaves shrink.
Add salt and give a good mix.
Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 10-15 mins. Stir in between.
After 10 minutes, check the dal. If it is soft but not mushy, cook uncovered till the water is dried.
Add red chili powder and mix well. Continue to cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
Lastly, add coriander leaves.
Spinach Moong Dal fry is ready to serve.
Serve this moong dal palak sabzi as a side dish with roti/phulka, chapati, masala paratha, plain parathas, jowar bhakri, rice flour roti.
Tomatoes: Can add them after the onions are soft. Cook the tomatoes until they are mushy and follow the rest of the recipe.
Spice powders: Can add cumin powder, coriander powder, or garam masala at the end.
Can add a pinch of nutmeg powder at the end.
A special South Indian podi: In a blender jar add – 3tbsp putnala pappu (roasted chana dal/daliya), 1tsp red chili powder, 1tbspn dry coconut (grated or chopped), 2-3 garlic cloves, and 1tsp salt. Grind to a coarse or fine powder. Add this podi at the end.
You can also add this podi to any stir-fry vegetables.
Other Sabzi recipes
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Spinach Moong Dal fry | Palakura Pesarapappu vepudu
- 1 cup Spinach (3-4 bunches)
- 1/2 cup Split Yellow lentils
- 1-2 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 2 Dry red chilies
- 2-3 Green chilies (roughly chopped)
- 5-7 Curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
- 1 small Onion (sliced)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- Rinse the moong dal well until the water runs clear. Soak in sufficient water for at least 30 mins.
- Discard the thick stems and leaves with holes, or show signs of mold. Fill a bowl with water and add the spinach leaves. Stir with your hand and let it sit for a minute. Drain the water and repeat once again.
- Finely chop the leaves and keep them aside.
Spinach Moong Dal fry
- Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. When hot, add cumin, chopped green chilies, and dry red chilies. Let the cumin crackle. Add a pinch of asafoetida and saute for 5 seconds.
- Add sliced onions and curry leaves and saute till onions turn soft.
- Next, add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away.
- Add turmeric powder and saute for 10 seconds.
- Add the soaked dal without water and mix well. Stir for 5 seconds.
- Next, add the chopped spinach leaves and fry until the leaves shrink.
- Add salt and give a good mix.
- Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 10-15 mins. Stir in between.
- After 10 minutes, check the dal. If it's soft but not mushy, cook uncovered till the water is dried.
- Add red chili powder and mix well. Continue to cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Lastly, add coriander leaves.
- Spinach Moong Dal fry is ready to serve.