Recipes: Panchmel Dal

I have mentioned before that dal is an integral part of Indian cuisine and this dal comes to us from the state of Rajasthan. I have been curious about this dal for a while now and when I finally made it, I had to share it.

This dal is usually made from five different types of dal, but you can play with the types of dal and use less than five or more if you want. It usually made from toor dal, moong dal, chana dal, moong dal and black urad dal. The dal becomes quite thick when it cools down so it needs to be made slightly thinner than usual.

Panchmel Dal


  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ¼ cup masoor dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp crushed Kasuri Methi
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium-sized finely chopped onion
  • 2 finely chopped medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish


  • Wash and rinse the dals multiple times. Soak them in hot water for a few hours.
  • Once the dals are soaked, drain the water and transfer the soaked dals to a pressure cooker.
  • Add ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp ghee and water to cover the dals and pressure cook for about 6-7 whistles.
  • When the pressure reduces, open the pressure cooker, and check if the dals are cooked. Mash lightly and keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat about 2 tbsp ghee and add the balance bay leaf, the black cardamom, 1 tsp tsp cumin seeds and 1 dried chilli.
  • Saute the spices on a low flame until the spices start becoming fragrant.
  • At this point, add the finely chopped onion, and saute until the onions become translucent.
  • When the onions become golden brown, add 1 tsp chilli powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin powder and some salt and saute for a while.
  • When the spices have mixed well into the onion paste, add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes become soft, mushy and start to disintegrate.
  • When this whole mixture starts bubbling, add the cooked dals and mix well adjusting consistency as required.
  • Cover and simmer on a low to medium flame for about 10 minutes or until the flavours are well absorbed.
  • Then add the garam masala, crush the Kasuri Methi in the palms of your hands and add to the dal.
  • In a smaller skillet, heat the balance ghee and add the balance cumin seeds, ¼ tsp chillu powder and the remaining dried chilli and let it splutter.
  • Pour this tempering into the dal, add the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian flatbreads.

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