Instant Pot Panchmel dal is a hearty and healthful dish with a thick, creamy texture and an amazing balance of flavors from the carefully picked spices. This authentic lentil curry recipe with a deliberate fusion of five dals makes a rich, flavorful, and inherently nutritious dish.
A staple food in the West Indian state of Rajasthan, Panchmel Dal is an imperial one-pot recipe that cooks into a lip-smacking dish in under 30 mins.
Panchmel Dal recipe contains an abundance of proteins besides healthy fats and fiber, with just the right level of hotness.
Also called Panchratna Dal in Rajasthan – Five Lentil Soup, this delicious family favorite is savored with loads of ghee to satiate the appetite. It is often paired with baati, roti, or rice.
It tastes irresistibly exquisite every time it’s prepared while it diligently preserves the splendor of the princely state!
What is Panchmel Dal?
Panch means’ five’ and mel means ‘mix’ or ‘fusion’ in Hindi. Dal means ‘lentils’ in Hindi. Together they mean ’a fusion of five dals’. This dal, considered a superfood, is a mix of 5 dals, namely —
- Tuvar dal- Pigeon peas.
- Yellow Moong dal- Skinned Green Gram
- Green Moong Dal- Green Gram
- Red Masoor Dal- Pink/red lentils
- Chana Dal- Yellow chickpea lentil
Panchmel Dal, also known as Panchkuti Dal, Panchratna Dal, or Rajasthani Panchmel Dal, is a signature dish of the royal state of Rajasthan.
This dal is nutrition-packed, full of flavors, and delightfully textured. It gets its drool-worthy taste from a spicy tempering of chili powder, asafoetida, and mustard seeds. Further, double tempering is what takes the deliciousness of this dish to the celestial level.
Besides being high in taste and delectability, this dal is relatively easy to digest and wholesome.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Instant Pot Panchmel Dal
Panchmel Dal lentils is a superfood packed with nutrients and minerals and is high on energy levels too. You will love this irresistibly tasty dish as —
- Needs a few readily available pantry staples.
- Lusciously creamy and delicious to the core.
- Supplies the right amount of nutrition and health to the entire family.
- Can be scaled as per the requirement.
The best part, being a convenient make-ahead recipe, this dal can also be prepared in advance and served later.
Rajasthani Panchmel dal Ingredient list
This recipe features the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and they are —
Dals (Tuvar dal, Yellow Moong Dal, Green Moong Dal, Chana Dal, Red Masoor Dal) — These five dals make a complete protein-packed dish for the entire family to devour.
Ghee — Pure ghee lends the best flavor to our Panchmel Dal.
Cumin seeds — Used for tempering the dish and adding an intense warming earthy flavor.
Ginger — Added for flavor and spiciness.
Onions — They add a delectable intense flavor to the dal that is so delightfully tasty.
Green Chilli — Chilies bring the desired hotness to the dal.
Tomato — Add the needed tanginess to the dal making it super delicious.
Red Chilli powder — The hotness of red chili powder takes this savory dish to yet another level.
Turmeric powder — Lends a beautiful golden color to the dal, making it look more glamorous!
Coriander powder — Added for the flavor.
Water — Dal needs water to cook and acquire the desired consistency.
Kasoori Methi / Dried Fenugreek leaves — Renders an exquisite flavor to the dal while adding an appealing aroma.
Hing/ Asafoetida — Gives the Panchmel dal’s distinctive flavor and aroma.
Mustard seeds — Also added for their flavor.
Whole red Chillies — These make the dish look and taste more entrancing.
How to cook Panchmel Dal in the Instant Pot?
This easy Rajasthani Panchratna Dal recipe in Instant Pot is the most straightforward recipe you will ever make. It requires minimal cleanup and no extra dishes, all thanks to the Instant Pot!
Rinse Lentils — Combine all the lentils in a large mixing bowl. Pour water and rinse the lentils by rubbing them between your fingertips. Drain this water and repeat the process until the water is relatively clean. Rinse the lentils and drain. Set aside.
Cook Lentils — Add ghee to the Instant Pot insert. As the ghee melts and becomes liquid, add cumin seeds. Add chopped ginger to the insert – cook for a minute. Now, diced onions to the Instant Pot insert. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
After the onions are cooked, add green chilies, diced tomatoes, and spices. Mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
Add Panchmel dal — Time to add rinsed lentils to the cooking onion-tomato mix. Pour in water and mix until blended. Seal the lid of the Instant Pot with the vent in the sealing position. Cancel the saute mode. Select the ‘PRESSURE COOK OR MANUAL’ mode. Cook the Panchmel dal on high pressure for 8 minutes.
Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn the Instant Pot off. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. Mix the dal and add water to adjust the consistency to your liking. Press SAUTE mode again and simmer the Panchrangi Dal for 4-5 minutes.
Prepare the tempering — Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. As the seeds start to crackle, add the chili powder. Stir to combine. Take it off the flame. Pour the tempering over the cooked dal.
Your Panchrangi Dal tadka is ready. Crush kasoori methi in between your palms and sprinkle on the cooked dal. This Panchmel dal is commonly served over steamed basmati rice or enjoyed with warm tandoori rotis.
Expert Tips & Variations!
Add greens for a dash of color and nutrition — Tossing some chopped spinach leaves to the cooked dal is a great way to add color and nutrition to the recipe.
Do not replace red masoor dal or yellow moong dal — Both red masoor and yellow moong lentils render a unique texture to the Instant Pot Panchratna Dal. So, do not swap it with any other lentils. The taste and texture of your recipe may alter completely.
Add garlic for an enhanced flavor — Garlic lends a peculiar taste to the dish. It also aids digestion and prevents flatulence.
To make it spicier — This Instant Pot Panchratna Dal recipe is not spicy but can be turned into a spicier and hotter dish by adding more red chili powder to it when tempering.
Don’t skip the tempering — Tempering takes the dish to an entirely different level, so do not skip it. It also adds more charm to the dish besides the wonderful taste.
For a vegan version — The vegan version of this dish replaces ghee with coconut oil or vegetable oil. Although both ways this Panchmel dal tastes excellent, it is incomparable when prepared with ghee.
Do not use a different combination of lentils — Lentils used for the Panchmel Dal need to be in the right combination to taste the best. Normally, all lentils have different cooking times. When used in the right combination, it also promises to be light on the stomach.
The lentils used in this recipe have almost similar cooking times. Replacing any of these will result in some uncooked and some overcooked lentils. So, it is best not to replace this combination of lentils. However, you can use Urad dal as it also has almost the same cooking time.
Result of double tempering — Double tempering brings more flavor and hotness to the dal; therefore, it is recommended to go for double tempering to make the dal look and taste more appetizing.
Soaking reduces the cooking time — Although this recipe does not require soaking the lentils when cooking in the Instant Pot, if you prepare it over the stovetop, soaking will help reduce the cooking time.
Use fresh lentils — Always use fresh and good-quality lentils for optimum taste and flavors.
Scalable recipe — This is a versatile recipe and can be scaled according to the requirement.
Make-ahead recipe — The Panchmel dal can be cooked a day in advance and stored for consumption the following day.
Consistency of the dal — This dal tends to thicken as it cools, and as such, you may need to add little water when reheating. However, you may keep it thick if you want it more luscious and enjoy it with rotis or rice.
Can you make this Panchmeal dal on Stovetop?
Of course, you can! To cook on the stovetop –
- Pressure cook the rinsed lentils in an Indian pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles or until lentils are soft and tender. Set aside.
- Prepare the first tempering – In a separate pan, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add chopped ginger, onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Stir in chopped tomatoes, along with all the spices. Sauté until the tomatoes are soft and tender.
- Stir in cooked dal and mix to combine. Pour in extra water to adjust the consistency.
- Cover and allow the Panchmel dal to simmer for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
- Meanwhile, prepare the second tempering.
- Combine hing, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, whole dried chilies, and red chili powder in a pan.
- Pour it over the cooked panchmel dal. Adjust the seasonings and serve hot.
Let me know what you think!
You can bring this Panchmel Dal to your dining table for lunch and dinner. I bet it would become your family’s favorite right away.
You’ll love the contrast in texture between the soft lentils and the not-so-spicy tempering, making this recipe a perfect comfort meal.
To introduce your family to the delicious dish and indulge in this super recipe, get ready with your supplies, and let us begin.
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
CRAVING FOR MORE, TRY MY OTHER FLAVOR-PACKED MEALS LIKE –
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Ginger finely chopped
- 1 small Onion chopped
- 1 small Green chili sliced
- 1 medium Tomato chopped
- ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon Haldi (Turmeric powder)
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2½ cups Water
- 2 teaspoons Kasoori or kasuri methi/ dried fenugreek leaves
- Start by combining all the lentils in a large mixing bowl. Pour water and rinse the lentils by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water will become slightly dirty and cloudy.
- Drain this water and repeat the process until the water is relatively clean. Rinse the lentils and drain. Set aside.
- Start the Instant Pot in ‘SAUTE’ mode. Add ghee to the Instant Pot insert. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds – cook the cumin seeds for a few seconds.
- Add chopped ginger to the insert – cook for a minute.
- Add diced onions to the Instant Pot insert. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add green chilies and diced tomatoes.
- Stir in the dry spices – red chilies, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt to the insert.
- Mix to combine. Sauté the spices for a minute.
- Add rinsed panchmel lentils to the insert.
- Pour in water. Mix until blended.
- Seal the lid of the Instant Pot with the vent in the sealing position. Cancel the saute mode. Select the ‘PRESSURE COOK OR MANUAL’ mode. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn off the Instant Pot. Allow the pressure to release naturally. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
- Pour water and adjust the consistency to your liking.
- Press SAUTE mode again and simmer the dal for 4-5 minutes. As it starts to boil, turn the saute mode off.
PREPARE THE TEMPERING
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add hing, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. As the seeds start to crackle, add garlic and saute for a minute. Add the whole chilies and red chili powder to it. Stir to combine. Take it off the flame.
- Pour the tempering over the cooked dal. Stir until well blended.
- Your Instant Pot Panchmel dal is ready. Crush kasoori methi in between your palms and sprinkle on the cooked dal.
- Pair the Instant Pot Panchmel dal with tandoori roti, and methi paneer, create restaurant-style dining.