Winters call for something warm, delicious and so comforting that it makes you feel all cozy! Yes, winter is my favourite season…😍😍 I would rather have winters all 12 months of the year than any other season The bounties it brings along are something that I wait for all year round 🙂
I can see the freshest produce everywhere I go, the veggies and the fruits tempt me and how!? I end up buying green leafy veggies the most… be it methi (fenugreek greens) or green garlic for making some quick instant pickles…radish (mooli) for making parathas for breakfast….and so much more! But the one thing that I can’t resist is grabbing a few bunches of palak (spinach) almost every alternate day. They are so fresh, organic and extremely healthy. You can make a whole lot of stuff with palak, lIke parathas or palak paneer, add them to pilafs or pulav rice…make soups or some sandwiches. The options are endless when it comes to this super food!
Yes, spinach is super food. Although it’s the kale and the chard that take major focus of being a super food, spinach has been providing a host of health benefits even before the concept of ‘super foods’ was invented! ☺️
Spinach is a rich in iron, magnesium, fibre and calcium. It also privides many other vitamins and minerals and is very low in calorie. It’s best consumed either steamed or boiled as these cooking methods help spinach retain most of it’s nutrients.
Since it’s such a healthy veggie, I thought I should share with you guys how I like my spinach the best!! Satpaita or Palak Wali dal is one of my favourite versions of spinach.
What is Satpaita? Basically it’s a typical preparation from Uttar Pradesh where two or three kinds of dals (lentils) are mixed together and cooked with chopped spinach over slow flame (these days, we choose to just pressure cook it), seasoned with very little spices and then tempered generously with ghee (clarified butter). Satpaita is very common in almost every other house in Uttar Pradesh, paired with some steamed rice and lots of mooli (radish) salad, some homemade made mango or chilli pickle, a quick stir fry of any veggie is a typical winter lunch.
My Mom, who keeps every tradition alive in our family, introduced us to this dish as kids and we love it to this day…I can have this by the bowl and never tire of it! You can even serve this as a very filling soup too, it’s extremely good for you if you’ve been suffering from cold, cough or have been feeling weak after a bout of viral.
I am sharing my Mom’s version of Satpaita, you can make changes to this as per your liking….
Yield: serves 2
Equipment: a pressure cooker, a large ladle, a small pan, measuring cups/ spoons.
For the dal:
1/2 cup toor/ arhar dal (split pigeon peas)
1/4 cup tukda kali urad dal (split black lentils)
2 bunch spinach (palak), wash and chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2+1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp chopped green chillies
For the tempering:
2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2-3 nos. slit green chillies
5-6 cloves crushed garlic
For the dal:
Wash the dals (lentils) together and soak them in 2+1/2 cups of water in the pressure cooker for 15 mins.
Then add the chopped palak, chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, salt to taste, turmeric, ginger and garlic paste and chopped green chillies to the soaking dals (lentils).
Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and place th weight on the lid. Cook on low flame for the first 5 minutes and then turn up the heat until the first two whistles. Then again, lower the heat and let the dal (lentils) cook for a further 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to be released on it’s from the pressure cooker.
Open the pressure cooker, mash the dals (lentils) along with the spinach. Set it aside.
For the tempering:
Heat a pan, add ghee. Once it’s hot, add the crushed garlic, hing, jeera (cumin seeds) and the slit chillies. Let these splatter for about a minute, once the garlic turns golden brown, turn off the flame and add the ready tempering to the dal.
Mix well and serve hot with a dash of lemon juice.
Turn this dal into a vegan option by replacing ghee (clarified butter) with refined oil or olive oil.