Panchratna Dhal

Panchratna dhal – a culinary masterpiece among the other dhal varieties in Royal Mughalai and Persian cuisine served as an accompaniment for Indian flatbreads. It is also called Panchmel dhal in Rajasthani cuisine. As the title suggests, this dhal is an amalgam of five types of lentils, each one rendering a unique texture and flavour making this dish exquisite and nutritious. This Panchratna dhal can be paired with rotis / paratha / steamed rice.

Interestingly, it is believed that the panchratna dhal was first mentioned in the great Indian epic Mahabharata. If you like to read more about the saga of panchratna dhal /panchmel dhal, here is the link.

Traditionally, this Panchratna dhal is prepared with equal quantities of

  • Toor dhal
  • Urad dhal (Whole or split black urad dhal)
  • Moong dhal
  • Channa dhal
  • Moath dhal

I have customized this original recipe by substituting the yellow moong dhal with whole green moong dhal and moath dhal with masoor dhal.

Preparation time: 1hour (for soaking the lentils)

Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes


Toor dhal, Black Urad dhal, Channa dhal, Green moong dhal, Masoor dhaltotal 1 cup (with equal quantities of all the 5 dhals)
Bay leaf1
Cardamom2 pods
Cumin seeds1 teaspoon
Red chilli (for tempering)1
Green Chilli2
Ginger1 inch piece
Garlic (optional)3 cloves
Onion (medium size)1
Tomato (big size)2
Turmeric powder1 teaspoon
Coriander powder1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri chilli powder1 teaspoon
Cumin powder1/2 teaspoon
Hing / Asafotedia1/4 teaspoon
Oil1 tablespoon
Ghee2 to 3 tablespoon
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)to garnish

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Soak the black urad dhal in warm water for about 1 hour. Instead of whole black urad dhal, you can use the split black and white urad dhal which does not require soaking.
  • In a pressure pan, add all the five dhals / lentils (toor dhal, black urad dhal, channa dhal, whole green moong dhal and masoor dhal). Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Take 1/2 of one of the tomatoes, chop it into small pieces and add this to the dhal mixture. Add 4 to 5 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Mash the dhal using a masher gently. See that you do not mash the lentils completely. Let there be some whole lentils here and there. This will give a good texture to the dhal.
  • Grind 2 green chillies, 1 inch ginger and 3 cloves garlic to a coarse paste.
  • Finely chop the onion and tomatoes.
  • Heat a pan, pour 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 tablespoon ghee. When it is warm enough, add the bay leaf, cardamom pods and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add finely chopped onion and sauté until it is transparent.
  • Add the green chilli-ginger-garlic paste and sauté for less than a minute or until the the raw smell goes away.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes. Stir well and reduce the flame to low. Close with a lid and cook until the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder and 1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder. Add hing. Stir well and cook for few seconds until the raw flavours of the spice powders go away. While stirring, if the contents of the pan become too dry, add 1 tablespoon water.
  • Now add the pressure cooked and mashed dhal to the pan. Add salt. Add 1 cup of water or more if the dhal is too thick. I like my dhal to be in medium flowing consistency. If you want your dhal to be thick, then skip adding water. At this stage, check for salt and spice level and adjust it accordingly. If you feel that it is less spicy, add little bit more chilli powder or garam masala powder.
  • Stir the contents well and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add generous amount of ghee on top ( 1to 2 tablespoons).
  • Tempering – In a small pan, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of ghee, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds crackle, add 1 red chilli and a pinch of hing. Add this tempering to the dhal.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

Check out my other side dishes for chappathi / paratha:


  1. Nice recipe Sowmya…! I usually the four (without the urad daal) to make mixed daal… will try with the urad daal.! saute-ing the tomato onions with spices before and then adding the daal gives it a different taste, compared to add them in the daal and letting them boil together!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sounds very nice, Sowmya I agree cooking the spices and tomatoes before adding make a lot of difference far more flavour I love your bronze colour serving tureen it sets off the dahl wonderfully 🙂 x

    Liked by 3 people

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