Kale Dal - Kale cooked with Yellow Lentils

If you have been following this blog, then probably you'd know that I am not a very consistent blogger. Often there is a long gap of 2-3 weeks between posts and then there are times when I do three back-to-back posts. 

I am consistently inconsistent.

Coming to the recipe, Kale Dal is not something that I cook on a regular basis. This is perhaps the second or the third time I made it. Kale came in my life pretty late, i.e. after I moved to the US.
Kale and I instantly connected the moment I saw it in my farmers market. Its such a pretty looking green. Its good to eat and good for you too and it often finds its way into my grocery cart.

I had always been fond of my greens. Growing up we had shaak bhaja (stir fried greens) almost daily, barring the Monsoon season. I am lucky that Cincinnati has Jungle Jim's, an international farmer's market, where you can get any vegetable that you can think of. The greens are super fresh and there a lot of variety. Spinach, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens, Arugula, Escarole, Endives, Kale... you have them all. 

My favorite Kale recipe (apart from the chips) is a quick stir fry of the curly leaves with garlic, red chili and nigella seeds. And I make it the day I buy it. This simple stir-fry tastes best when made with the freshest leaves. A day in the fridge, and the stir-fry would not be the same.

This week we had some prior commitment. Sam just dumped the grocery in the fridge and we headed right out of the door. The Kale was already 2 day old when I remembered it. So I went for my second favorite Kale recipe - Kale Dal or Kale cooked with Yellow Lentils.

Back in Hyderabad, during my pregnancy, I used to make this dal very often, but with Spinach or Amarnath leaves. Cooking iron-rich dark green leaves along with protein rich lentils made a wholesome and filling meal for a pregnant lady. Even today if I am not in a mood to cook a lot, I just make a big batch of dal/lentils and throw what ever veggies I can find in the fridge in it. It really makes a nourishing meal.

You can use any dark green leaves like Spinach, Collard, Chard, Turnip or Mustard Green and any lentils of choice. They are all delicious choices.

Recipe Snapshot: Kale Dal

Serves: 4 serving
(1 serving = 1/2 cup)

What I used:
Kale Leaves - 1 bunch, stemmed and chopped
Arhar (Toor) Dal / Yellow Lentil - ½ cup (Moong Dal or Masoor Dal can also be used)
Cumin Seed - ½ tsp
Dry Red Chili (whole) - 2
Green Chili - 2-3
Garlic - 2-3 cloves, crushed
Ginger - 1 tsp grated
Tomato - 1 juicy, chopped
Turmetic powder - ½ tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp (optional)
Oil - 1 tbsp

What I did:
1. Pressure cook the Arhar Dal (toor dal), with double the quantity of water and  turmeric powder for one whistle. Alternatively, it can also be cooked on stove top, with triple the water  Time taken by the dal to cook and be mushy is approx 30-40 minutes. Keep aside.

2. In a kadhai or wok, heat the oil on medium high and add the cumin seeds, red and green chilies.

3. When the sputtering stops add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry till golden.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover cook it on medium-low heat, till the tomatoes are mushy and fully cooked. 2-3 min approx.

5. Add the chopped Kale leaves and mix in with the masala. Add the salt and mix well. Cover and cook till the leaves have wilted and have absorbed the masala. 2 mins approx.

6. Add the cooked dal and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for five minutes.

7. Add a teaspoon of ghee (optional step) and serve with rice or roti and salad.

Diabetic Platter:
Kale or borecole is rich in numerous health benefiting polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene, and vitamins than found in any other green leafy vegetables.

Kale, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that appear to protect against prostate and colon cancers.

Kale is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.

Kale is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation. 



  1. No kale here but I do make dal palak. Mone hocche amar folder purono snaps pore ache ... ekta post korte hobe. :-)
    Ki shundor snaps gulo!

    1. Taratari post koro.... Even I did it with spinach for the first time. Now, whatever green remains in the fridge for more this 3 days goes into a dal. Apart from toor, I also use moong and masoor dal with dark leafy greens.

  2. I have tried to get my husband to eat Spinach dal several times and have failed. I love your version with Kale, looks so hearty. Will try this and see how we go. Bookmarking the recipe.

  3. So finally i have found, what i have looking from many days!!!! love this version with kale.
    Tuwar Dal Online
    rentio toor dal
    toor dal online shopping


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