December 4, 2013

Dal Panchratan

Dal Panchratan, also called as Panchmel dal is a Rajasthani special. The word "Panch-ratan" means five gems as this recipe is made by combining five protein-rich lentils that is commonly available in any Indian kitchen. I used toor dal, moong dal, black whole urid dal, black chickpeas & whole masoor dal to make this supremely delicious & a filling dal!

Actually when I started, I wanted to make a gravy as a side for roti. But, couldn't stop myself tasting it while cooking; the gravy was that flavorful & addictive. That's when it occurred to me that this protein rich gravy can also be turned into one great soup. Just add more / less water depending on the consistency you would like, top it with a dollop of sour cream and slurp it away!!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 1.5 hr (includes soaking time)
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 4

Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Masoor dal - 1/4 cup
Whole black urid dal - 1/4 cup
Black channa - 1/4 cup
Cloves - 2 nos
Cardamom - 2 pods
Green chilli - 1 no
Dry red chillies - 2 nos
Ginger - 1/2 inch grated
Tomatoes - 2 nos, medium
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1/2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Wash and soak all the five lentils (the first five ingredients) for an hour. Pressure cook soaked lentils in 3 cups of water for upto 2-3 whistles. Slightly mash the cooked dal (don't mush it up completely like baby food unless you like it) and keep it aside.

In a medium pan, heat oil and ghee together. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add cloves, cardamoms and fry until fragrant. Add grated ginger, chopped green chillies, broken red chillies and saute for a min or so. Next, add chopped tomatoes, hing, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and saute on medium flame until the tomatoes are soft & completely cooked.

Add this tomato mixture along with salt to the pressure cooked dal and mix well. Add more water (if required) to bring it to desired consistency and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes until all the flavors mingles. Crush kasoori methi between your palms, add it to the gravy and mix well.

Finally, garnish the gravy with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serving suggestions:
- Add a dollop of cream / sour cream / greek yogurt on top and enjoy it as a soup!
- Serve it alongside rice / roti / bread for a filling meal.