Panchkuti Daal


I never get tired of talking about the incredible variety that exists in Indian cuisine. So many different ways to cook so many different things. Having been intimately exposed to both Gujarati and South Indian cooking, I really have no excuse for making the same type of food everyday. If I put my mind to it, I can make a different type of daal or sambar each day of the year and at the end of it say that the year wasn’t long enough. And talking about daal, apart from the sweet gujarati daaL, I really like the Panchkuti daal. Nutritious, hearty, brimming with flavors and very tasty. Made with 5 different types of pulses, the unique taste and flavor of this daal comes from the freshly ground spices fried in ghee. I usually make it with onions and use an extra half a cup of water as I don’t like the daal to be too thick. If you don’t want to use onions, you can happily skip them. However you make it, it will bring out the best of roti or rice. If possible, make this daal with ghee and not oil. Ghee gives it a very nice aroma and taste. If you don’t have ghee, butter can be substituted.

Here it is, the famous Panchkuti daal from Gujarat.

2 table spoon chana daal
2 table spoon mung daal
2 table spoon urad daal
1 table spoon toor daal
1 table spoon masoor daal
1 medium sized onion/pyaaz
1 tomato
1 table spoon ghee/butter
1 tea spoon salt, some curry leaves/kadhi patta

Following to be ground into a paste

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tea spoon cumin seeds
¼ tea spoon turmeric
2 whole red chilies
1-inch piece of ginger
3 small green chilies (half, if using jalapeno pepper)
2 Cloves
a small piece of cinnamon
4 Black peppers
1 tea spoon salt

1. chop onions.
2. Grind the masala ingredients into a paste by adding 2 table spoon water.
3. Pressure cook the dals in 1.5 cups of water until soft.

I don’t like my daal to have a pasty texture so I don’t mash it after it is cooked. I just add it as is, along with the water in which it was cooked.

When ready to make the daal, fry chopped onions and curry leaves in 1 tablespoon ghee for about 5 minutes. Add the ground masala paste, salt, and the chopped tomato. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the cooked dals and ½ cup of water. Simmer for about 5 minutes.