Hello and welcome to the latest in #30daysofdaal – Panchmel Daal. I almost fumbled yesterday and today seemed a bit daunting too. I was feeling a bit under the weather – nothing serious – and I literally dragged myself to the computer to start typing this.
‘Panchmel’- pronounced as ‘punch-male’ refers to a mix of five. ‘Mel’ actually means coming together or meeting. This is a 5 lentil mix of certain daals from the state of Rajasthan. Rajsthan is the land of royals and the land of the desert and is a border state in North Western India. It is quite a popular tourist destination with its palaces, forts, and rich cultural heritage.
I am very fond of lentil or bean mixes. Five bean soup or 14 bean soup, they got my heart. Literally! We know lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein and are so good for you. This Panchmel Daal can be served with roti or rice like in any Indian meal. But it is so hearty that you can also eat it like a stew.
I am keeping the flavors simple here, or trying to. As I have said before, adding everything to everything results in the same old taste all the time. I am using ginger and cloves to flavor this daal, and then adding some garam masala and coriander-cumin powder to give it more depth of flavor than usual. Tomatoes add the tang and also some color. And I love tomatoes. Just don’t go overboard with them. since they are going to be cooked down anyway, you can go with canned tomatoes too.
The daals all need different times to cook, but when you cook them together, some may be softer than the others. The overall effect and texture is just interesting. The chana daal is the hardest to cook and it stays whole even when the other daals are really soft and mellow. This will give you something to chew on.
I had blogged about another panch daal recipe earlier and spiced it with carom seeds. This panchmel daal is more complex.
The rains are here in Pune, although there is no actual rain where I live. We just see cloud banks and overcast skies, and wonder if it is raining somewhere.
The temperatures have cooled down a bit though, bringing more humidity with them. One at least feels like sipping something warm which is great.
Oh, BTW, you can totally use the 5 daal mix that you get in the market instead of adding on a bit of 5 daals from 5 jars from your pantry.
Panchmel Daal Recipe
- ¼ cup toor daal
- ¼ cup chana daal
- ¼ cup red masoor daal
- ¼ split green moong lentils
- ¼ cup split black urad lentils
- Or 1 cup 5 daal mix
- ½ cup tomatoes chopped
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- Ginger juliennes for garnish
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp hing or Asafoetida
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 dry red chili
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Ghee for topping Optional
- Pressure cook all the daals/lentils together. Take care to cook them well.
- Heat oil in a wok or stock pot.
- Add cloves and let them puff up. immediately add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let them pop.
- Add a pinch of hing or Asafoetida, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
- Add tomatoes and fry them for a minute.
- Now add the cooked daal mixture.
- Add water as needed and bring to a boil.
- Season with the spices, salt and sugar and simmer for 10-15 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Serve hot garnished with ginger juliennes.
This is a vegan recipe but it can either be made with ghee, or topped with ghee while serving. I have tried to keep this recipe simple and I think the star here is the combination of the 5 lentils. Ginger and tomatoes are common in any kitchen, and garam masala is also easy to procure.
Hope you try this Panchmel daal or Panchratna daal as some call it. Worth every lick of that spoon!