Muddi Palya: A Wholesome Bowl Of Lentils And Greens
Image Credit: Muddi Palya

The lentils are a beautifully wholesome world of protein-rich food, with each variety having its distinctiveness and utility. If toor dal is made for sambars, chana dal is ideal for creating a tadka. But what if both come together into one recipe? Muddi Palya - a delicacy from Karnataka - makes it possible.  In this dish, cooked toor and chana dal are united with spinach and fenugreek leaves. Result? A richly flavoured, thick-textured dal and veg bowl that gives a fulfilling dose of both nutrition and taste. The spinach cooked in the tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida lend a light and lilting aroma, while a paste of coconut, coriander leaves, green chillies, cumin seeds, and curry leaves ensure that curry remains spiced up and perky. 

This dish is an essential part of Karnataka’s everyday cuisine. Muddi means thick, and palya means bhaji or sambar-like curry, the combined word meaning a thick curry dish. The place and time of origin of this dish cannot be ascertained, which is classic and an inseparable part of the cuisine for a long time.

Muddi Palya/

Although lentils are in general rich sources of protein, toor dal are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the wounded tissue and lead to new tissue formation. It is even known to be beneficial for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, and is seen to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Moving next to chickpea lentils or chana dal, these not only taste great in the simplest of preparations but are also good for immunity, bones, and teeth and help in disease prevention.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 3


1. 1 cup toor dal

2. 2 tbsp chana dal

3. 2 tsp oil 

4. 1 tsp mustard seeds 

5. A few curry leaves

6. ½ cup chopped fenugreek leaves 

7. 1 cup chopped spinach

8. 1 tbsp salt

9. Marble-sized tamarind

For the masala paste:

1. 3 green chillies 

2. 1 tsp cumin seeds

3. 2 tsp coriander seeds 

4. A few curry leaves

5. A handful of coriander leaves 

6. 2 tbsp dry coconut 


1. Pressure cook the lentils with a little turmeric powder on medium heat for up to 3 whistles.

2. Meanwhile, make the masala paste with cumin seeds, coconut, curry leaves, chillies, coriander seeds, and leaves without adding any water. Keep it aside.

3. Soak the tamarind in water.

4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves and let it splutter.

5. Then add the fenugreek leaves and spinach to it.

6. Saute for a few minutes, until the leaves wilt. 

7. Then, add the masala paste to it and saute for 5 minutes.

8. Add the cooked lentils to it, with the water. 

9. Mix everything well, add salt and cook for 3 minutes.

10. Squeeze the water from the soaked tamarind into the curry. 

11. Bring it to a boil and turn off the flame.