May 16, 2015

Coconut based spinach curry, palak dal ambat

Palak dal ambat recipe - Spinach dal curry  is one of the varieties of coconut based gravies that is usually prepared in South Indian homes. Curry is called as ambat in Konkani language. This is a very easy to cook curry and it is usually served with hot rice. In konkan region, coconut is used to prepare gravies (ambat) and palya. Rice and curry is my comfort food which I like to have it for both lunch and dinner. So, besides spinach dal curry, I often prepare methi dal ambat,  basale soppina palya, dal curry with white masala, tomato saaru, drumstick dal curry etc. 

palak dal ambat in a pan

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 bunch spinach / palak
Salt as required

Grind to paste

3/4 cup grated fresh coconut
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi, fried
1 tsp coriander seeds, fried
4 dry red chillies, fried
1/4 tsp mustard seeds, spluttered
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1  cup water

For the tempering

2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
A generous pinch of asafoetida / hing

Coconut based spinach dal curry recipe with step by step pictures

Fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately in little oil on low heat and set aside. Fry the dry red chillies in little oil and set aside. Combine together the coconut, fried ingredients, garlic cloves, turmeric powder and put them in a mixer jar.
grind to paste ingredients

Grind it using a cup of water to make a smooth paste and set aside.
ground masala paste

Clean the spinach and remove the stems. Wash the spinach thoroughly and chop. Wash the toor dal and combine with chopped spinach. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of water to it. Pressure cook till 3 - 4 whistle.
cooked dal and spinach

When the pressure releases, transfer  the dal and spinach mixture to a broad pan.
cooked dal and spinach in a pan

Add the ground masala. Add salt. Add little water if required.
masala paste added

Bring the curry to boil and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Heat oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds and asafoetida, saute till aromatic. Pour this tempering over the boiling curry. 
tempering poured on curry

Mix with a spoon. Serve hot with rice.
palak dal ambat ready to serve


  1. I love ambat.. Konknai recipes are always tasty and this looks YUM :)

  2. Helathy n tasty dal

  3. super delicious spinach dal curry.

  4. The dal looks delicious.. and healthy too..

  5. It looks and sounds so delicious.


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