Chukka Koora Pappu – Khatta Palak Dal

A dal with greens that is a breeze to prepare despite the long list of ingredients is Chukkakura pappu. The tangy flavor of Chukkakora offsets the earthiness of the dal with green chillis providing the spice to balance out the flavors. A classic, down to earth Andhra recipe that is nutritious, full of iron and protein, and a flavor that is irresistible with finger licking goodness. One of my favorite pappu kura!

Chukkakura Pappu

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  malabar spinach


  •   1 small cup tur dal/red gram dal/kandi pappu
  •   1 1/2 - 2 cups finely chopped chukka koora (adjust)
  •   1 onion, chopped
  •   1 tomato, chopped (optional)
  •   big pinch turmeric pwd
  •   2-3 green chillis, slit lengthwise
  •   1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  •   salt to taste
  •   2 cups water
  • For seasoning/poppu/tadka:

  •   1 tsp mustard seeds
  •   1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  •   3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  •   2 dry red chillis, de-seed and tear
  •   10-12 fresh curry leaves
  •   2 tsps oil

Method for making Chukkakura Pappu

In a pressure cooker, place dal, chukka kura leaves, onions, tomatoes, green chillis, ginger and turmeric pwd. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook upto 2 whistles. If cooking over stove top, cook till the dal is almost cooked.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add mustards seeds and as they jump around, add cumin seeds, garlic, red chillis and curry leaves and stir fry for a few seconds.
Add this to the pressure cooked dal and combine. Cook on slow to medium flame for a few mts till you get the consistency of your choice.
Serve with white rice.


  • Paulette

    We do not have the chukka koora here in Houston, Texas. Which would be a better substitute for it? Spinach or Kale.

    This is a basic recipe to prepare any kind of greens with dal. You could use amaranth, red sorrel, methi, mustard greens or spinach. I haven’t tasted kale. Chukka kura is basically tangy in flavor, very similar in taste to red sorrel leaves.

  • Veena

    Can I substitute chukkakura with mustard greens?

    You could use any green of your choice.

  • Manjeeta


    I love your website as i am from vizag but now got married and settled in canada. I enjoy looking at the food in your website this is exactly my taste though i am a punjabi girl but i am born in vizag so consider myself more Andhra girl.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe and keep up the good work.

    Bye for now

  • Mythreyee

    Looks delicious, quite healthy too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Happy Cook

    Is chukka koora Spinach???
    The dal looks so delicious.

  • Happy Cook

    I just read the comment were you wrote we can substitute with spinach.
    Next time when i make dal i am going to try this recipe.
    As you had commented chukka koora is tangy in flavour, should i double the tomato for the tangy taste when i use spinach.

    No need to double tomato. Maybe you could use a bit of tamarind.

  • Kalva

    My nanamma used to make it mild and we would finish the whole bowl… I miss it here a lot.. great one Sailaja

  • girijan

    A small tip: always slit green chillies the end part only, not full length-wise.
    A difference in taste can be achieved by omitting the cumin seeds.

  • Happy Cook

    Thanks for the info. I will make them with spinach

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  • tinku

    Hi Sailu,

    The chukka koora dhal turned out awesome and i absolutely love your website and the recepies.I also made the chicken masala balls and it turned out great too.

    Thanks !!!

  • Taru


    To start with, this dal has turned out amazing everytime I made it. Although I use spinach and tamarind for this.

    I always use ur recipes when want to try something new. I learnt cooking recently and ‘you’ have been a huge support.

    Keep the good work going.


  • Divya

    33 yrs old and can burn water …. until I discovered your site a year ago… and am a regular reader and fan ever since. I’ve made quite a few dishes from your site and they always always turn out yummmm.
    I can cook ! I can cook!

    You’re the GURU! Thank you soooo much for this.


  • Sakshi

    Hi Sailu,

    I recently stumbled upon your blog while browsing for a nice aloo gobhi recipe and am so glad i discovered the joys of your blog. so simple and so good! i have never cooked much south indian food except the usual sambar-upma routine and was craving the simple,spicy flavors. I live in Seattle, and we don’t have many restaurants around that serve good south indian cuisine. So i was really excited to try out some of your recipes. The khata dal and the eggplant stir fry was my dinner tonight. Wow-so delicious! Now i know how to sneak in some greens ( i used red leaves) with my lentils! Thanks for all your great work!

  • Gary

    Hello Ms. Sailaja:

    I am from Vizag and currently in Florida. It is so delicious to see so many of your things and reminds of the days back home. I do make and cook most of my things and whenever, I need to try something different your site is a helping hand.

  • khursheed

    thanks to sailus kitchen from bottom of my heart its a good site for learning cooking.