April 1, 2013

{Simple and Easy} Panchmel (Panchratna) Dal | Indian Style Five Lentil Curry Recipe

Imagine a pot with five kinds of lentils (dals) seasoned with fresh spices and tomatoes  simmering for dinner on a weeknight with hot (or leftover) rice or roti. How comforting does that sound. My mother used to make this irrespective of which season it is. It was wholesome and soupy consistency for summers and during winters this dish helped to banish those winter blues. For a blessedly comforting creaminess, it is important to cook the dal long and slow on low heat. I usually skip the garam masala at the end as we like it relatively plain and simple. Serve with chopped onion and lemon wedges on the side and there you have a perfect meal ready.


Sending this dal recipe as an entry to My Legume Love Affair # 58, guest hosted at Chez Cayenne. This event was originally conceptualized by Susan and now gracefully run by Lisa.

Check out previously posted dal recipes -

Kerala Style Arhar Dal
Chana Dal and Coconut Stir Fry
Toor Dal Chutney
Yellow Moong Dal Soup with Garlic Basil Croutons

{Recipe} Panchmel Dal | Indian Style Five Lentil Curry

Serves 4


1.5 cups (in total) of five kinds of lentils - I used a 1/4 cup each of whole black beans, channa dal, toor dal (split pigeon peas), split moong dal and masoor dal (split red lentils)
1 cup tomato puree (or) chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp oil (or ghee)
chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1/2 cup beaten curd/yogurt (optional)
salt - to taste


1. Wash the lentils together multiple times with fresh water and optionally soak for 1-2 hours. Drain. Add 3 cups of water and pressure until 2 whistles, until dals are cooked. Let the pressure be released and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a wide kadai. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, ginger garlic paste and green chillies. Let them sizzle a bit. Reduce heat to low and into the oil add turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and coriander powder. Saute once and add tomato puree (or chopped tomatoes). Cook until oil separates from the edges.  Mix in the cooked lentils and water (if you want a thinner consistency). Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice in the middle. Add beaten yogurt, if using. Mix and then finally sprinkle garam masala. Adjust seasoning, if required. Transfer the dal into a serving bowl and top with fresh coriander leaves. This recipe goes well with roti, rice or plain bread.

Dinner Served!

This is Recipe 24 added to my The 100 Recipe Challenge for Year 2013. Check out the rest of the recipes too!


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until next recipe,


  1. Looks yummy siri and i am sure its comforting especially for the cold week nights. Bookmarked this and will try it soon.

  2. Looks lovely Siri. Its always comfort food to have any kind of dal. And when its 5 different kinds, then its packed with loads of protein, punch and texture.


  3. nutritious and comforting meal with this curry...

  4. Your dish looks so delicious and warming, Siri. Thanks for sending it to me for MLLA.

  5. this is such a comforting dish. I could dive in that pot


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