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pancharatni Dal

This dish, made from different kinds of lentils, has become an absolute hit at my place. More so, with my guests who try to guess which dal they are eating. Actually, it’s a little hard to guess when there are so many different types of them in there, cooked slowly till they release their flavors. The reason why I like this dish is that it is a welcome change from the stereo-type rajma/ chole gravies we prepare on special occasions. Its also comparatively nutritious and gives a unique, creamy taste.

There is just one small disclaimer I want to give my friends who want to try this out. My version doesn’t contain 5 lentils (like the name suggests). I put in a handful of every dal I find running out in the kitchen. Only thing I care to do is categorize the dals based on hard or soft. The hard ones are soaked for at least 6 hours and the soft ones are just washed and good to go. So my dal should be called navratni, saptratni or something else every time its made :-)

Ingredients :

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • A few cloves
  • 1/2 and inch piece of cinnamon
  • A few cardamom pods
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Coriander leaves, for garnishing

Lentils :

Soak a tablespoon of bengal gram (channa) dal, whole green moong dal, whole black urad dal and brown moth dal for 6-8 hours.

Wash dals well and add salt. Pressure cook the soaked dals with a tablespoon each of toor/ arhar dal, yellow moong dal, black masoor dal and red masoor dal.

For the paste :

  • 1 Onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • few cloves of garlic
  • a small piece of ginger

The Dry spices :

  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 teaspoon jeera powder

Procedure :

  1. Crush the cinnamon stick, cardamom pod seeds and cloves with the help of a mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat the oil. Fry the crushed spices and fry for a few seconds.
  3. Add the paste of onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Fry till the paste leaves oil from the sides.
  4. Add the dry spices and continue to cook.
  5. Now add the cooked lentils and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.
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