Palong Saaker Dalna (Bengali Style Spinach Curry with Vegetables)

‘Dalna’ is a term used in Bengali cooking where the consistency of the curry is semi dry and the vegetables used are cut into small pieces but it should be visible in the curry. The other variation of it is ‘Ghonto’, where all the vegetables are cooked together and mashed up. There is a little variation between these two. My today’s recipe is ‘Palong Saaker Dalna’. Thais is my family recipe and my grandmother used to cook it so well! Adding milk in curry gives another flavor all together. This curry is little sweeter in taste. I add a little chilli powder to balance the taste but it is completely optional. This curry is cooked quite often in our home mostly during winter when fresh spinach is available in abundance in market. But if you find fresh spinach in market, you can cook any time. Adding Bori/Vadi is a must in this curry. It adds a crunch in the curry. Here goes the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • Palong Saak or Spinach – 1 bunch
  • Poato – 1 (Cut into strips)
  • Brinjal – 1 (Cubed)
  • Pumpkin – ½ cup (Cut into small pieces)
  • Radish – ½ cup (Cut into small pieces)
  • Flat Beans – 3-4 (Cut into small pieces)
  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
  • Panch Foran or Bengal Five Spices – ½ tsp
  • Dry Red Chilli – 1
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – ¼ tsp (Optional)
  • Bori or Vadi or Sun Dried Lentil Dumpling – 10-12
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Mustard Oil – 3-4 Tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt – To taste

Steps:

  1. Wash and clean the spinach leaf under running water. Chop them.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and fry the ‘Vadi’s. Keep aside.
  3. Temper the oil with panch foran, bay leaf and dry whole red chilli.
  4. Add chopped potato and stir for couple of minutes.
  5. Next add other vegetables and ginger paste. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on medium flame, till the vegetables turns a little soft.
  6. Next add all the dry masala powders, sugar and salt. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  7. Remove cover and add chopped spinach. Cover again and cook till all the vegetables are done.
  8. Add fried vadis and milk. Cook till all the liquids almost dries up.
  9. Serve with steamed rice.
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