How to make Daal-Saag

I made Daal Saag few days ago because I haven’t been feeling well for the last few days. Daal or Lentil soup in general is one of the staple items in everyday meal for Nepalese in Nepal. In my family when one of us got sick, my mother would always cook extra lentil soup. It is easy to digest and is full of nutrients, which accelerates the recovery process. It fills you up leaving you feeling warm and relaxed. Now that’s a little background on daal. Daal Saag on the other hand basically means Daal with Saag or greens. Direct translation is Lentils with Greens. It is basically a simple twist of everyday Daal recipe. I have tried many versions of it but my favorite has to be the one from Whole Foods. I have tried to recreate the recipe to what I think it is. So without further ado, let’s get started!

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of any kind of Lentils. I have used black, yellow, green in the past. 
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ghee or Butter. Ghee is better
  • 2 tablespoons Jimbu aka Dried Chives (optional)
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • 1 bag of Spinach, chopped. I prefer frozen spinach for this recipe.
  • 4 cloves of Garlic sliced length wise
  • Salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Amchur powder. You can find this in any Indian grocery store.
  • 1/3 teaspoon Asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander power
  • 2 and half cups Water

Give your lentils a good rinse and then add them to a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a regular pot.

Add salt, turmeric powder, about 1 teaspoon cumin powder and water. Cook lentils over a medium to high heat until the cooker whistles twice, which is roughly about 10-15 minutes. As always be very careful handling a pressure cooker. If you are using a pot, cook until lentils are soft which is roughly about 45 minutes to an hour.

While the lentils are cooking, heat ghee in a separate pan. Once ghee is melted, add garlic, chopped onions and dried chives. Cook until onions are golden brown. Add your greens to the mix along with the remaining spices (coriander powder, cumin and salt). Cook until the greens are welted. Set aside.

Let’s get back to the lentils now. Once the lentils are done, remove from heat and let it cool and release the pressure from the cooker. Always make sure that the cooker is cool enough to open and there is no pressure inside.  Once that is done, add your cooked greens to the lentils. Add Amchur powder and Asafetida as well. Mix it well and cook it for about 10 minutes more (without covering the lid if you are using a pressure cooker).

Once done, your lentils and saag mixture should have a grayish green color. Serve warm with a piece of bread or drink it alone.

If you recreate this recipe,  do let me know if it taste like the one from Whole Foods!

Bon Appetite!

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