Panchmel dal is a traditional Rajasthani lentil delicacy, i.e it originates from India’s north-west state of Rajasthan. It is basically a delicious and nutritious fusion of five different types of protein-rich lentils. ‘Panch‘ in hindi means ‘five‘ and ‘mel‘ means ‘a combination of‘. ‘Dal’ simply translates to ‘lentils’. In Rajasthan, it is most often served as a part of dal-baati, which is a signature dish of Rajasthan (A baati is a flaky round doughball made of wholewheat flour and some spices)
Panchmel dal is a thick-textured dish which goes amazingly well with steamed white rice and a generous dollop of ghee (clarified butter). You can also enjoy it with plain chapattis and sabzis of your choice on daily basis.
The traditional Panchmel dal should always be a bit tangy at the end. You can achieve that with either using more tomatoes in the tempering or by squeezing in some fresh lemon juice in the individual bowls, at the time of serving. I usually opt for the former.
Give this beautiful recipe a go and enjoy!!
-1.5 cups of mixed lentils-
- Yellow moong dal washed (split green gram)
- Orange masoor dal (split red lentils)
- Toor dal (Split pigeon peas dal)
- Split Urad dal (black lentils)
- Chana dal (bengal gram dal)
-1 tbsn ghee+ 2 tbsn oil
-1 tsp mustard seeds
-1 tsp cumin seeds
-A pinch of asafoetida
-1 tsp curry leaves
-2 dried red chillies
-1 cup finely chopped onions
-1 tbsn ginger-garlic paste
-2 finely chopped tomatoes
-1-2 tsp kashmiri red chilly powder
-1 tsp crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
-2 tsp turmeric powder
-A pinch of garam masala
-A combination of whole spices (1 bayleaf, 1 big cardamom and 2 cloves) *optional*
-Salt to taste
-Fresh and chopped coriander leaves to garnish
-Wash and soak all the lentils/dals together in sufficient water (around 3-4 cups) for atleast half an hour.
-In a large pressure cooker, heat your ghee+oil. Keep the heat on medium.
-Once the oil gets hot, add your asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
-Once the seeds crackle, add the dry red chillies and curry leaves. If you are using whole spices, throw them in at this point as well. Saute for a few seconds.
-Next, add your onions and cook till they turn translucent and pinkish.
-Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute the mixture till the raw aroma of the paste goes away and the mixture smells fragrant. You can also use fresh, grated ginger and garlic.
-Throw in your chopped tomatoes and also add salt at this point as it will help the tomatoes cook. Saute the mixture till the tomatoes are completely cooked and mashed up nicely.
-Add your dry powders next, except for the garam-masala, and cook the mixture for around a minute.
-Add the soaked lentils along with the water you soaked it in, in the pressure cooker and give everything a good stir to mix.
-Put on the lid and cook the dal for around 10 mins on low, after the first whistle on high. After that, turn off the gas and wait for steam to escape on its own before opening the cooker.
-Lastly, sprinkle in the garam-masala and lots of chopped fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice and ghee. Enjoy!
-You can also boil your soaked lentils with water, turmeric and salt beforehand, and add your tempering to it later. If you do so, reduce the boiling time to 6-7 mins.