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panchkuti dal (savory indian lentils)

January 28, 2018

a great savory vegan lentil dish from rajasthan. some people find my favorite gujarati dal too sweet and sour, and dal makhani too heavy. if that sounds like you, and you like something simple and hearty without sugar or cream, try this panchkuti dal. the combination of lentils works really well to set it apart, even though the spice blend reminds me a lot of other northern dal dishes, like dal from nearby punjab. i’ll make this panchkuti dal, also called panchmel dal or panchratan dal or just rajasthani dal, for my vegan or health-conscious friends – it’s one of my favorite lentil recipes with no cream, butter, sugar, or ghee. check out over thirty bean and lentil recipes right here.

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2 tbsp chilkewale urad dal (split black lentils)
2 tbsp toovar (arhar) dal
2 tbsp green moong dal (split green gram)
2 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
2 tbsp masoor dal (split red lentil)
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
about an inch of cinnamon (dalchini)
4 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
4 tsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)
2 whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken into pieces
8 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 bay leaf
pinch of amchur (green mango powder)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
0 to 4 minced fresh green chilis
salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice

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cook dal by simmering in twice its volume in liquid (i just used a cup as a guide)

or tarladalal recommends, “Wash all the dals and soak them in enough water in a bowl for 1 hour. Drain. Combine the soaked dals with 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep aside.”

in a separate pan, heat oil and add the whole mustard and cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle, add the cinnamon, garlic, ginger, red chillies and bay and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and amchur, and cook over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garam masala and green chillies, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the cooked dal, salt and lemon juice, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Serve hot. Top with cilantro leaves and plain yogurt.

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recipe adapted from tarladalal and archana’s kitchen

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(if you don’t have all five kinds of split lentils and peas, just use a combination of anything you have in the house! just make sure to cook whole lentils separately from split peas and lentils – they have a different cook time.)

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