Panchmel Dal: A Dose Of Protein With Rajasthani Tadka
Image Credit: Image credit:Shutterstock| Panchmel dal

From the royal lands of Rajasthan emergence of dishes like the Gate Ki Sabzi and Laal Maas have been known and much commercialized. But deep from the ghettos of the royal household of Rajasthan also originated a humble mix of five Dals. Known as the Panchmel Dal, this bowl of spices and mix of five Dals is a power pack of protein and is relished with much fervor. Just like how Rajasthani’s love their food to be high on the spices that one eating should almost have a running, this dal is no different. Imagine if you will, not one but a mix of multiple dal will only add to the most exquisite flavours.   

Image credit:Shutterstock

The very name, Panchratna dal simply the mix of five Dals, somewhat has roots in Hindi or Sanskrit as panch stands for five and PanchaRatna means five jewels. Well, it is not just the famous dal in the Indian continent but is known by the names of Mughlai dal in royal Persian cuisine and Pancha dhal in Caribbean cuisine.

According to historical records, the Panchmel dal first came into the limelight through the Mewar Gharana in order to bring in light flavours as opposed to their fiery flavours. The dal made with no tomato but yet packed with flavours were introduced in the court of Akbar by Jodha Bai along with various vegetarian dishes. The invention of Panchmel Dal came from the need of the royal wives to create something new from the leftover food for the royal court. This also gave the khansamah an opportunity to show their creative talent.  

With the need to present it in a different way to the royals, it underwent many variations even then by the royal cooks. Being introduced to the Rajasthani food palate centuries ago, it was back then administered with smokey flavours that occurred with the spices being roasted in ghee. This combination was also favoured in the courts of Shah Jehan naming it Shahi Panchmel Dal.


1/4 cup Soaked Chana Dal

1/4 cup Soaked Yellow Moong Dal

1/4 cup Soaked Tur Dal

1 cup Soaked Black Urad Dal

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

4 Bay Leaves

4 tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

5-6 Cloves

2 Dried Red Chillies

1 cup chopped Onions

1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste

1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder

1 cup chopped Tomatoes

Salt and water as required


On medium heat place the pan, add all the soaked dals, turmeric half a teaspoon of powder, salt, 2 bay leaves, and 2 tablespoons of ghee. Mix all together and water as required. Cover and let it simmer. Keep checking in between and give it a good mash.

Meanwhile, in another pan add 2 tablespoons of ghee, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves, dried red chillies, and onions. Cook until onions are translucent. Then add ginger garlic paste and sauté.

To this add turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt, and mix well. To this add tomatoes and cook until ghee starts to separate. Then add the dal and let it simmer.

In another pan, add ghee, dried red chillies, and chilli powder. Let it simmer and then add to the daal on the top.

This dal is the epitome of humbleness for it is a mix of many. It is best served with Jeera rice, Paratha, or plain roti. Well, one can’t be told how to relish it. Baring the ghee used in the making, this Dal is essential in the menu as it is an unusual mix of different dals.