Go Back
+ servings
Front top shot of panchratan dal
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Rajasthani Panchmel Dal

Although its name suggests royalty, a Panchmel or Panchratna Dal, native to the Indian state of Rajasthan and made with five kinds of lentils, is an easy enough dish to cook up for a weeknight. It's extremely nutritious and delicious and it's also vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Pressure cooking time15 mins
Course: Main/Dal
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: Panchmel Dal, Panchratan Dal, Rajasthani Dal
Servings: 8
Calories: 103kcal


  • ¼ cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • ¼ cup urad dal (blackgram lentils, the skinned white ones are best for this)
  • ¼ cup chana dal (bengalgram dal)
  • ¼ cup masoor dal (pink lentils)
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chili peppers (break into two. You can skip these and add cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste. If using cayenne, add it with the other ground spices)
  • 1 medium onion (finely diced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (use less or more based on your taste)
  • 2 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (green cardamom)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)


  • Cook the dal with the bay leaves, if using, until really soft. In an Instant Pot pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and do a manual release after 10 minutes or let the pressure release naturally. In an Indian-style pressure cooker, cook for four whistles of the pressure regulator. Make sure you cover the lentils with 2-3 inches of water at least before pressure cooking.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan or dutch oven. Add the mustard and once it sputters, add the red chili peppers.
  • Next add the onions and saute them for about five minutes over medium-high heat or until they brown. Add some salt to help them along.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, stir fry for a few seconds, then add tomatoes and mix them in.
  • Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom powders and the Kashmiri red chili powder or the paprika, if using. Saute for a minute to mix. Put a lid on the pot and let the tomatoes cook down until pulpy and soft.
  • Add the cooked lentils to the pot with any cooking water and stir to mix well.
  • Add water if necessary to thin the dal out to your liking. Bring it to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer around 10 minutes so all the flavors merge. Sprinkle on the garam masala--start with less and add more per your taste.
  • Add salt as needed and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.


Visual learner? Here's a link to my YouTube video of this Panchmel Dal


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg