Five Lentil Soup (Panchmel Rajasthani Daal)

Lentil are a main source of proteins and part of staple diet in middle eastern countries and Indian subcontinent, where significant population is vegetarian. They have a hearty texture and have many other nutrients such as folate, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, thiamine, potassium, magnesium and vitamins to name a few. Due to all these nutrients, lentils are a great source of fiber, good for heart health, improves digestive health, helps manage blood sugar levels and improve body immunity.

Lentil can be cooked in many different ways. This particular recipe uses a combination of five different lentils. This can be had just as a soup, or had with other accompaniments such as rice or bread. Panchmel daal tastes best when served with unleavened Indian breads such as missi roti, tandoori roti, baati or khoba roti.



  • Split lentils – 1/4 cup each
    • Bengal gram
    • Urad
    • Red
    • Mung
    • Pigeon lentil
  • Tomatoes – 3 to 4 finely diced
  • Onions – 1 medium size finely diced
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece grated
  • Dry red chilies – 3 to 4
  • Green chilies – 3 to 4 chopped or slit
  • Cilantro – handful
  • Oil (Clarified butter or Ghee preferred)  – 2 tbs
  • Lime – juice of 1 to 2 limes
  • Water – 4 cup (can be varied depending on desired consistency)
  • Spices
    • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
    • Dry mango powder – 1 tsp
    • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
    • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
    • Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp
    • Asafoetida (hing) – generous pinch
    • Cloves – 6 to 7

Above quantity of ingredients will yield 5 to 6 servings.


  1. Wash the lentils three to four times and and drain all water each time.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-01
  2. Pressure cook till soft but not mushy. Time and number of whistles vary depending on the type of pressure cooker, heat setting and quantity. I boiled in Instant-Pot for 1 minute in manual mode with NR.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-02
  3. In a separate pan heat ghee or oil and add asafoetida (hing), cumin seeds (jeera), cloves and dry whole red chilies. Let it roast for a few seconds.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-03
  4. Now add ginger and green chilies. Continue roasting.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-04
  5. Then add finely chopped onion and saute further until onion is translucent or golden brown.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-05
  6. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook further they are mushy and the whole mixture starts separating oil.
    2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-06 2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-07
  7. Add spices –  turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-08
  8. Once all spices are mixed and you can smell the flavors, add pressure cooked lentils. Mix well and let it cook more.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-09
  9. Add water (if needed) to get to the desired consistency.2016-9-30-panchmail-daal-step-10
  10. Once it starts boiling, then turn off the heat and add garam masala, dry mango powder, lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Mix well and transfer to a serving bowl.
  11. For extra rich look and flavors, like in the picture below, add tamper from the top. Serve with famous Rajasthani bread – Baati.


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