I had been wanting to try using kale in my regular dal recipe for a while now, and yesterday I got just the opportunity to do so. I was rummaging through my fridge for a last minute dinner inspiration and saw this bunch of day old kale. And just like that, I knew it was time to make Kale dal. Now I make ‘Palak Dal’ or spinach dal quiet often as I love the earthy flavours of the dish, so I decided to simply switch spinach with kale. It more than worked, the result was a rich protein packed dal, which complimented the slightly bitter taste of kale so well.
I am a recent Kale convert I must confess. Growing up I had never really eaten kale, as it’s not available in India. We used to have other kinds of seasonal greens though, my favourite being spinach and ‘bathua’(sort of weedy plant that grows in india during winters) and I could eat tonnes of it. I guess my mother never had any problems with me eating my greens. I always loved green vegetables, maybe it has to do with the vibrant colour or the fact that they always livened up a plate of dull coloured curry with their freshness. So Kale has definitely made its way into my kitchen and it’s here to stay. Plus the added advantage of knowing that you are putting something good in your body is always a plus.
This is a really simple recipe and you cook the ‘Dal’ separately first and then add the sautéed ‘kale masala mix’ to it. I use a pressure cooker to cook the dal in, but, if you don’t have that you can use a heavy bottomed pan and cook it for 45-60mins until it’s done. I finished it off by tempering it with garlic and dried red chilli in ‘ghee’ or clarified butter. If you don’t have ‘ghee’ use unsalted butter but don’t use regular oil, as it won’t give you the flavour. Yes I do believe in the age old saying ‘butter makes everything better’. Run an extra mile the next day but try and not skip on the ‘ghee’.
Serve this dal with steamed rice or rotis, or simply on its own with a side salad!
Kale Dal Fry