Chukka Dal (Garden sorrel curry/ Khatta palak dal)

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Chukka as known in Kannada and Ambat chukka as known in Marathi is a green leafy vegetable which has a sour tastes and it looks almost like spinach. It has a sour taste hence the name Ambat means sour in marathi.

It can be made in various forms, but in my house it is liked in a curry form. Made with Toovar dal (pigeon peas) it is a very tasty sour dal and gives a nice taste with rice and Roti’s. It is a regular in my kitchen as I like to put some veggies in my dal rather than eating them bland.  It is easily found with local vendors in the vegetable market. It is one of my dad’s favourite dal. If it is made in the house that day he won’t have any vegetable and have this with roti and even rice.  Do try it if you can get this as it’s very healthy and tangy and the dal is very easy to prepare with only a few ingredients which are normally used in Indian kitchen.


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What do we need:-

15-20 leaves of Chukka, washed and finely chopped (Khatta paalak/ Garden sorrel)

200gms Toovar dal (Pigeon Peas)

½ tsp turmeric powder (Haldi)


Salt to taste

For the tempering:

2 tbsp oil

¼ tsp Asafoetida (hing)

½ tsp mustard (rai)

½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

8-10 curry leaves (kadipatta)

4-5 cloves of garlic chopped and crushed (lehsun)

2-3 Dry red chillies

How do we do it:-

1 Wash the toovar dal. Add some water in it. Then add the chopped Chukka and turmeric powder.

2 Cook this in the cooker for 4-5 whistles or till the dal is cooked.

3 After the cooker is cooled remove the dal and churn it into a paste to make the Chukka and dal as whole.

4 Heat oil in a vessel for tempering. Add mustard seeds, jeera, curry leaves, garlic and the dry red chilies and then add the dal.

5 Add water to what consistency you want it.

6 Add salt to taste and wait till it boils.

7 Off the gas once it boils.

8 Serve hot with rice or rotis.