Thursday, March 5, 2009

Panchratan Dal (Five Lentils Mix)

This dal is the combination of five different types of dals (lentils) and is therefore known as Panchratan Dal. If you want to enjoy this dal fully then use tadka (tempering) liberally.
Serve dal with Nan or Tandoori Roti.

  • ¼ cup Arhar Dal (split yellow Pigeon Pea)
  • ¼ cup Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram)
  • ¼ cup Moong Dal (split Green Gram)
  • ¼ cup Split skinned Urad Dal (split skinned Black Lentil)
  • ¼ cup Sabut Masoor Dal (whole Red Lentil)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onions finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1” ginger finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
  • ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp Panch Phoran
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Chopped fresh coriander to garnish

  • Mix Sabut Masoor and Chana Dal in a bowl and wash thoroughly. Soak the washed dals in water deep enough to cover them completely, for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours wash remaining dals – Arhar dal, Moong dal and dhuli Urad dal in a bowl and mix them with soaked sabut Masoor and Chana dal; and put into a pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water to it.
  • Now add the green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on the stove at a high flame. After the first 'whistle' or ‘pressure release’, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for one more ‘whistle’. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure cooker to cool.
  • Open the pressure cooker when cooled and stir the boiled lentils very carefully. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir carefully until the consistency is right.
  • In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee on medium heat. When hot, add the Panch Phoran and fry till spluttering stops. Now add the asafetida, chopped ginger and garlic, chopped tomatoes, and fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove from fire and add to the dal mixture. Stir to blend and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from fire, put into serving dish, mix fresh lemon juice and garnish with tadka and cilantro leaves.
  • Serve with hot tadka ghee (tempering).
  • Tempering: In a small pan, heat the ghee (clarified butter) on medium flame till hot. Add the onions and fry till pale golden in color. Now add whole red chilies and a pinch of red chili just to give it a beautiful color. Serve this tadka along with dal.

Do You Know?
can be stored indefinitely but after a year their color will begin to fade and they will become dryer and take longer to cook.

Also, keep in mind that it is uncertain how old the lentils are when they are purchased so it is a good idea to only store lentils for six months.

Do not mix newly purchased lentils in with the lentils you have stored at home because the lentils you have been storing will be dryer than the ones you just purchased.

Different degrees of dryness will cause the lentils to cook unevenly.

Remember to store lentils in a seal able bag or airtight container in a cool dry area out of the direct sunlight.

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