Panchmel Dal, also called Panchratna dal, is a comforting one-pot Indian mixed lentil soup which is high in protein, and fiber. With only a few basic pantry ingredients, you’ll put a complete and tasty meal on the table.
Panchkuti, or Rajasthani Panchmel Dal, is a classic Rajasthani dal dish. It is a mainstay in practically every Rajasthani home.
A side dish of Baati in a Rajasthani Thali is this traditional and creamy textured Panchmel dal. You can make this dal in the instant pot or a stovetop pressure cooker.
The spicy onion tomato masala in this panchmel dal dish creates a beautiful blend of fragrant aromas. Panchratan Dal is a protein-rich and nutrient-dense meal.
Traditionally, when cooking dal, the lentils are first cooked in the pressure cooker, and then the tadka is added. I like to make it a one-pot method, and cook the tempering and lentils together in the pressure cooker or instant pot.
What is Panchmel Dal?
“Panch” means five, and “mel” means “mixed”. Five lentils are used to make this dazzling panchmel dal. This delicious dish is made up of five different dals cooked together and spiced with onion tomato masala.
This dal recipe shines not only because of its beautiful ingredients but also because the texture and flavors of five different dals are so prominently evident in this delicious meal. Ghee and whole spices give Panchmel Dal a lovely fragrant richness.
In some areas of Rajasthan, this dal is also called panchkuti dal, Mel ki dal, and mixed dal.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It is a delicious and filling meal.
- So thick and creamy
- Packed with the benefits of 5 lentils
- It is ideal for quick weeknight/weekend dinners.
Ingredients for Panchmel Dal
Lentils: You’ll need Split Bengal gram lentil (Chana Dal), Split Black gram lentil (split black urad dal), Split Red lentils (Masoor dal), Split Green Gram lentil (Split Green Moong), Split Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal)
Spices: These spices, including salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and coriander powder, work together to give this Panchmel dal a rich, earthy taste.
Tempering: This Panchmel dal is elevated to a new level with the addition of cumin seeds, cloves, dry red chilis & asafoetida
Onion, ginger, green chile, and tomatoes: are all essential ingredients in Indian cuisine. If you want to skip onions, that works perfectly as well.
Ghee: enriches the dal’s overall flavor and fragrance
Lime Juice: Add’s up a tangy flavor.
Garnish: You’ll need cilantro leaves.
How to make Panchmel Dal?
Wash the lentils with water until the water runs clear and keep aside.
You can make this dal in the instant pot or the stovetop pressure cooker. I am including instructions for both in this post.
Now lets begin by heating the ghee or oil in the pressure cooker, then adding the tempering ingredients: cumin seeds, cloves, asafoetida, dry whole red chilies and green chilies. Let them cook for 30 seconds while stirring.
When I make dal, I normally use homemade ghee, but any plant-based oil would suffice for a vegan version.
Then add the ginger, onion, tomatoes and spices. Saute until onions are translucent.
Add all the spices except garam masala and lime juice and mix them.
Then add the washed lentils. Now we are ready to pressure cook the dal.
Instant Pot Method: Pressure cook the dal for 8 minutes. Then let the pressure release naturally.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
When the pressure cooking is done, open the lid and add the chopped lime juice, and garam masala. Stir well and let it rest for 2-3 minutes.
The dal is cooked to perfection and ready to eat. You can add an extra spurt of tempering at the end if you like.
How to serve?
This Panchmel dal is a match made in heaven with basmati rice. You can also pair with quinoa or cauliflower rice.
To make the tempering, in a small pan, heat ghee or oil. Add some cumin seeds and dry red chilies. Cook for about 30 seconds. Then take the pan off heat and add some mild red chili powder.
When serving, drizzle the tempering over the dal. It gives such a lovely splash of color!
Tips to make perfect Panchratna Dal
- If you’re aiming for real flavorings, I wouldn’t recommend cooking this dal in oil. Ghee is used only in the traditional Panchmel dal preparation. However, this dal can be made with a mix of ghee and oil.
- In this dish, I used both whole spices and garam masala powder. This is because panchmel dal is a bit of a spicier Rajasthani dish. If you don’t want it to be overly spicy, you may cut back on the garam masala and red chili powder. You can also skip the green chili.
Yes absolutely. Traditional Rajasthani households keep this dal in this manner. This is because people eat this panchmel dal tadka frequently, and combining five dals takes a little more time.
Yes, you can freeze this Panchmel Dal or Panchratan Dal dish. The leftover dal can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. Before serving, defrost at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.
To make a no-onion version, skip the onion from the recipe; the rest will remain the same.
Hope you enjoy this authentic Rajasthani Panchmel Dal recipe. You might like other lentil recipes –
Panchmel Dal (Rajasthani Panchratna Dal)
- 1/4 cup Split Gram Dal (Chana Dal)
- 1/4 cup Split Black gram lentil (split black urad dal)
- 1/4 cup Red lentils (Split Masoor Dal)
- 1/4 cup Split Green moong lentils
- 1/4 cup Toor Dal (Split pigeon peas)
- 2 tablespoon Ghee, use oil for vegan*
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 6-7 Cloves (Laung)
- 3-4 Dry red chili
- 2 Green chili, I used serrano peppers, adjust to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1 cup Onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger, grated
- 1 1/4 cup Tomato, finely diced
- 4 cups Water
- 1/2 Lime , juice of
- Cilantro , to garnish
- Wash the lentils with water and keep aside.
Instant Pot Method
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat the ghee/oil in it.
- Add cumin seeds, cloves, dry whole red chilies, green chili and asafoetida. Allow them to cook for 30 seconds while stirring constantly.
- Then add diced onion and grated ginger. Saute until onions are translucent for about 3 minutes.
- Now add tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes until tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add all the spices and give it a stir.
- Add washed lentils and water. Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.
- Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK mode for 8 minutes and let the pressure release naturally (NPR)
- Open the lid, add garam masala and lime juice.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve. Enjoy!
- Follow the same steps as above to cook the dal in a stovetop pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles until the dal is cooked and soft. Then let the pressure release naturally. Stir in garam masala and lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve!