Huli Palya

Huli means Tamarind and Palya means Curry in kannada – this dish prepared with Spinach is a thick gravy but no sambhar powder is used.

This family favourite dish has been handed down to us by another great remarkable elder in the family who has inspired and is still inspiring us with the great combination of Andhra and Kannadiga dishes.   Her dishes are being enjoyed by members of the families, old and young.  It is a qiuck, easy and delectable dish mixed with rice and eaten.  I would like to name this dish as

“Mrs Sarala Surya Rao”s Huli Palya

The nutrients of the fresh spinach can be best preserved if the spinach is cooked as soon as it is purchased or picked fresh.   It should not be tucked away in the fridge for a few days as most of the nutritional value will be lost. 
It is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B2, B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, and is  a very good source of protein

Leafy vegetables like spinach may keep your brain active even as you age!!
So, make sure you eat your greens and solve Sudoku to keep your brain young and agile!!!!!

Ingredients to serve 6 people

1 Large Bunch Fresh Spinach
1½ Cups Toor Dal
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
Medium Lime Size Tamarind
1 Cup Water
1-2 Tsp. Salt

For Seasoning

2 Tbs. Oil
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
2-3 Green Chillies
1 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1 inch piece Asafoetida or
½ Tsp Asafoetida Powder

Huli Palya Recipe

Huli Palya


Chop the spinach and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes
Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes
Extract the tamarind juice using 2 cups of the water
Cook the toor dal with the turmeric powder

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add a teaspoon of mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the green chillies, asafoetida and the fenugreek seeds
When the seeds turn golden brown, add the cooked spinach, cooked toor dal, salt and the tamarind juice
Cook it for a few minutes on a medium flame.
Turn the stove off and let it cool completely.

Grind the above into a soft mixture (Optional to grind)  – as the traditional way of making it is to mash the mixture
Cook it on a medium flame for 5-6 minutes till it solidifies
Heat the remainder of the oil, add the mustard seeds.

 Garnish it with the curry leaves



  1. This is also called ‘ambat bajji’ – my mother-in-law used to make it and as you say tastes great and fried more millagai is a good combination for this.

    • Shobha Krishnan says:

      Absolutely!!!tastes delicious – my boys love it too!!and yet another dish when you get your hands on a bunch of fresh spinach! Thanks Subadra for taking the time to browse through!