Indians cook a variety of pulses, which include dals (lentils) and beans, and are eaten almost every day as an accompaniment to steamed rice & wheat breads. Predominantly a vegetarian society, it depends largely on cereals & pulses as the main source of protein & energy. ‘Pancharatna’ means Five Jewels, and this stew used five (skinless) varieties of lentil.
100 gm yellow lentil (toovar dal)
100 gm red lentil (masur dal)
100 gm split black lentil (urad dal)
100 gm split yellow gram (chana dal)
100 gm split green gram (moong dal)
250 gm oil (or ghee)
120 gm onions thinly sliced
15 gm red chillies powdered
15 gm coriander seeds powdered
8 gm turmeric
25 gm ginger paste
25 gm garlic paste
3 gm garam masala powder
30 ml lime juice
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp. jeera seeds
2 tbsp ghee
salt to taste
- Heat oil/ghee and fry onions till golden brown
- Add salt, red chillies, coriander powder, turmeric, garlic and ginger paste.
- Saute till spices or ‘masala’ is well-browned and oil separates from it.
- Add water.
- When it starts boiling add split yellow gram.
- Cover and cook.
- After 15 minutes add the remaining lentils, gram and cumin seeds. Cover and cook.
- When cooked, the lentils should be soft and the stew of a thick consistency. Add garam masala, lime juice and coriander leaves.
- Heat ghee, in a deep dish. Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, and if using tomatoes, add them as well. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked pulses. Stir and allow to stand, covered for 8-10 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle with lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve hot with rice or chapatis.