I first read the Panchratna Dal Recipe in the Times of India newspaper. The recipe in the newspaper was described by Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur.
The Panchratna Dal is also known as Panchmel Dal and is a part of the rich Rajasthani Cuisine. It is a protein packed meal as it contains the goodness and nutritive qualities of 5 different lentils.
The 5 lentils that were used in the original panchmel dal recipe were:
- Bengal gram dal – Chana dal
- Black gram – Urad dal
- Green gram dal – Moong dal
- Pigeon peas spilt and skinned – Arhar, tuvar, toor, tur dal
- Moth Bean spilt– Moth dal
I did not have Moth dal, so I used masoor dal also known as Lentil Dal or Pink lentil. If you stay in India, then in food outlets like Spencers, Big bazaar, Reliance Mart etc, you get a packet of 500 gms or 1 kilogram of the 5 different dals which are mainly used in indian cuisine, namely… chana dal, moong dal, tuvar dal, masoor dal, urad dal.
You could even use the skinned and spilt variety of the above dals.
I have tweaked this recipe a little and the results were a delicious, aromatic dal, which has become a favourite at my home.
Ingredients for Panchratna or Panchmel dal:
- 1 cup consisting equal amounts of
- chana dal
- moong dal
- masoor dal
- tuvar/arhar dal
- urad dal
- 2 cloves
- 2 small cardamom
- 1 green chilli – crushed
- 2 red chillies – broken
- 1/2 inch ginger – crushed
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tomato – finely chopped
- ghee/clarified butter
Method for making Panchratna or Panchmel Dal:
- Soak all the dals in water for 30-45 mins.
- Pressure cook the dals for 3-4 whistles or till they are cooked. In the original recipe, the dals are cooked in an pan. Cooking dals in a pan takes lot of time. I cooked the dals in a pressure cooker.
- In another pan, heat ghee or clarified butter. You could also use a good vegetable oil, but I used ghee as it gives a rich taste to the dal.
- Add cumin seeds. Let them splutter. Then add the cloves, cardamoms, broken red chillies. Fry them till they are browned. Add the crushed ginger and green chilly. Fry them for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, asafoetida, turmeric powder and garam masala powder.
- Fry the masala well on a low flame till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
- Now add this fried masala to the dal. Mix well. Simmer the dal for 10 minutes so that the flavours of the spices infuse well with the lentils. Season with salt.
- Garnish the dal with coriander leaves. This part is optional.
- While serving, top the dal with 1-2 tsp ghee in the serving bowl as shown in the pic below. You can see the shiny surface….. thats ghee and it got melted due to the hotness of the dal.
- Serve Panchmel Dal with rotis, rice, jeera rice or dal bati – a famous and unique rajasthani recipe made from wheat flour.