Panchratni or panchratna (meaning 5 Jewelled ) dal is a mix of 5 dals, and though it is one of most favored Mughlai dal, it is equally popular in Punjabi cuisine as Dal panchmel or Dal panchratni.
Though Tidali dal (Three dal mix) is more popular in Sindhi cuisine, but occasionally this creamy and protein rich mix of dals is simply savored when served with plain boiled rice, roti and some tawa / pan fried vegetables like potato or brinjal/eggplant.
There are many versions of this dal, the recipe differs from region to region, from person to person. The combination of dals used also differ.Some prefer to cook it without onions, with loads of tomatoes, while other use onions and tomatoes.Sometimes even curd is used as souring agent. So go ahead and experiment !
- ¼ cup whole Urad dal (black lentils)
- ¼ cup Chana dal ( Bengal gram split)
- ¼ cup moong (whole green grams)
- ¼ cup masoor dal (Egyptian lentils)
- ¼ cup Toover dal ( Arhar/ pigeon peas )
- 2 small onions chopped finely
- Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp (Garlic is optional )
- Green chillies 2-3
- Tomatoes 2 large
- Salt as per taste
- Turmeric powder ½ tsp
- Coriander powder 1 tsp
- Ghee/oil 1½ tbsp
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- A pinch of asafoetida powder (Hing)
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- Mix, pick, rinse several times and soak the lentils in water for 1-2 hours.
- In a pressure cooker ( or slow cooker ) add the mix of lentils and pour some water, till the water level reaches above the level of lentils. Add salt and turmeric and pressure cook ( or cook it, if using slow cooker) till 3-4 whistles of cooker.
- If cooking in a pan, let the water reach the boiling point and then simmer on low heat for 30 -40 minutes.Be sure to cover the pan and to stir the dal occasionally. Add some more water if needed.
- Meanwhile in a frying pan or kadahi, pour 1½-2 tbsp of ghee or oil and let it heat up. Carefully add a pinch of hing and some cumin seeds.
- When cumin is brown, add ginger garlic or just ginger paste, saute well, then add onions and saute again till slight brown in colour.
- Add tomatoes, green chillies, coriander powder and cook well till oil separates out or till tomatoes are cooked well.
- Now just whisk the dal slightly and pour it in the pan or kadahi ( you can pour the onion- tomato mixture in the cooker if your frying pan cannot accommodate the dal).
- Mix well, add some water if needed and cook on low flame for atleast 15 minutes or pressure cook it till 3 whistles of cooker.Simmer for 5 more minutes
- Adjust the consistency of dal. This dal is supposed to be of creamy consistency.The longer you cook it on low flame , the more creamy texture is obtained.Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve it with rice/ roti and enjoy a hearty meal. We had it with plain roti , along with Tawa aloo (Recipe coming up next), on the bed of salad .