Panchmel Dal or Panchkuti Dal is a traditional Rajasthani recipe that uses a mix of five lentils – prepared with a simple tempering of cumin, cloves and cinnamon and a few spice powders. It is often served as a part of dal-baati-choorma, which is a hallmark dish from Rajasthan – along with baati which is a flaky crisp round bread and choorma – a sweetened version of the same breads. You can have this dal with plain rice or rotis too!
Panch Phoron – a Bengali five spice mix.
The Kolkata twist to this dal recipe is a generous flavouring using the traditional panch phoron – a mix of five spices, used in Bengali cooking. The panch phoron consists of black mustard seeds (rai), cumin seeds (jeera), fennel seeds (saunf), nigella seeds (kalonji) and fenugreek seeds (methi). In some recipes, radhuni (celery seeds) are used instead of mustard seeds. I’ve added it both in the sauteeing of masalas and in the final tadka. To give it a more Bengali flavour, you can use mustard oil for the tempering. Traditionally, liberal doses of ghee is used in the making of this Rajasthani Dal.
Recipe for Panchmel Dal with PanchPhoron Tadka
Prep time: 1 hour including soaking time
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes
Recipe for Rajasthani Panchmel Dal / Panch Kuti Dal
- 1/4 cup Toor Dal Tata I - Shakti
- 1/4 cup Chana Dal Tata I - Shakti
- 1/4 cup Moong Tata I - Shakti split Green
- 1/4 cup dal Tata I - Shakti split udad
- 1/4 cup Masoor Dal Tata I - Shakti
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsps ghee oil or
- pinch asafoetida
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 - 5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon small pieces of sticks
- 4 green chillies
- 1 inch ginger piece of
- 3 tomatoes large , finely chopped
- 2 tsps coriander powder (dhania powder)
- 1 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder)
- 1 - 2 tsps red chilli powder
- to taste salt
- handful coriander finely chopped
- 2 tbsps mustard oil ghee rice bran OR OR oil
- pinch asafoetida
- 3 - 4 chillies dried red
- 1 tsp panch phoron
- Measure out all the dals and wash and soak in plenty of water for one hour.
- Drain the soaked dal. Place in pressure cooker with 4 cups water, turmeric and salt.
- After one whistle, keep flame on minimum for 7-8 minutes. Switch off and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep kadai.
- Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Once cumin seeds splutter, add 1.5 tsp of panch phoron. Stir for 10-20 seconds until the spices turn aromatic.
- Add the ginger-green chilli paste and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add chopped tomatoes, pinch of salt, stir on high flame for 1 minute.
- Keep covered on low flame for 3-5 minutes until completely mushy.
- Add spice powders - cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and saute on low flame until the oil separates out.
- Add the cooked dal to this, adding some water if required, salt to taste and finely chopped coriander. Bring to a simmer.
- Add garam masala powder at the final stage, stir and remove into a serving bowl.
- For the tempering, heat mustard oil / ghee / rice bran oil in a small tempering ladle. Add the asafoetida, dried red chillies, panch phoron and transfer over the dal.
- Garnish with few coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with steamed rice, rotis or as a part of Rajasthani dal-baati-choorma.