The word "Panch" in the name of this daal means “Five” as it contains five varieties of daal. In the jars you’ve received, the five daals (bottom to top) are mung daal, red masoor daal, toor daal, white urad daal, and chana daal. Total amount in each jar is approximately 8oz.
Panchmel daal originated in Rajasthan (western state in India) and has since become popular in many states. Specifically, the Marwari ethnic group which originated in Rajasthan migrated to Kolkata (Calcutta) in the 1870s and have since made Marwari recipes & flavors a predominant part of the cuisine in the state of Bengal.
Making daal is done by 2 major steps which can be done simultaneously. One is boiling all of the daal together. Two is making the tadka. Tadka means “tempering” the spices. This step roasts the spices separately with oil & ingredients like tomato in order to help release the essential oils & flavors of the spices before mixing with the cooked daal.
To make this daal, you’ll need the following ingredients:
For the daal:
8oz of the 5 daals (mung, masoor, toor, urad, chana)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
3 ½ cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
For the tadka:
2-3 tablespoons of ghee (butter or canola oil can be substituted)
2 teaspoons of whole cumin seeds (essential)
2-3 small cardamoms (optional)
1 inch of ginger (grated)
2 medium tomatoes (chopped)
1-2 dried red chili peppers (or fresh jalapenos) cut in half lengthwise
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
Making the Dish:
To cook the daal, first rinse all of the daal and then add to cooking pot or instant pot. Add all of the daal, water, turmeric powder, and salt and stir.
If cooking in a regular pot, close lid, turn to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling - turn heat to medium-low, remove lid, and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
(Keep an eye on the pot as it is simmering; daal has a tendency to foam and overflow. If this is happening, then lower the heat further)
Once 25 minutes are complete, turn off heat. The daal should now be cooked (all the grains of daal should be mashable).
If cooking in instant pot, place in pressure cook mode on high for 10 minutes with natural pressure release. If cooking in pressure cooker, cook for 4 whistles.
To cook the tadka: while daal is cooking, heat ghee, butter, or oil in a separate pan (small to medium size) on medium heat.
Add cumin seeds and cardamom to oil until they start browning and spluttering (about 1 min).
Now add chopped tomatoes, mix with cumin seeds evenly, and spread across bottom of pan. Place lid on pan. Let this cook for 3 minutes.
Add grated ginger and chilis. Mix again with spatula, spread across bottom of pan, place lid, and lower heat to medium-low.
Let this cook for another 7 mins. Mixture will start looking shiny, this means the oil has separated and the tadka is ready.
Turn off the heat and add the tadka (spice mixture) to pot of cooked daal. Mix everything together and heat daal and tadka together for 3 minutes.
Add salt if needed, and garnish with cilantro.
For a South Indian twist, substitute the cilantro with curry leaves and mix with the hot daal.
Serve with rice, roti, or paratha. Enjoy!