5 lentil Dal                    Panch Mishali Dal

Panch Mishali Dal
Onion and garlic temper

Lentils are amazing! What would we do without lentils?
Pretty much every Bengali house will start their meal with Dal. Its an introduction, a neutral dish, a prelude to whats to come, almost a palate teaser.

We love our dals. Its a simple hearty complete meal for many. Edible with just pickle or accompanied with a bhaji, its usual pairing.

This Dal is a mix of 5 different lentils. The choice is yours!

Mixed lentils

I used to make this alot when I first moved into our own place, hubby and me. I was too lazy to blitz the dal. I didn’t have the fancy hand held electric wands we have now! I had a hand held whisk!
It took the effort out making lentils with tarka rather than the whisked traditional panch puran dal.

Panch Mishali was born from 5 different lentils, as the name dictates. For me well not always 5, often 2 or 3 but frequently a mixture of remnants left in bottom of jars I hadn’t refilled.  Not enough singularly but job done mixed together. And the dal was always wholesome and delicious!

The dal is just cooked then tempered. For me its usually with garlic and onion. Lots of dried chillies and some cumin seeds.

I am happy with chappiti and a hot bowl of creamy Dal. That to me is touchdown! This is my go to panch Mishali Dal…😊


2 cups of mixed dal, I used

Toor Dal
Masoor Dal
Yellow split pea
Moon dal
Brown lentils

All mixed to make up 2 cups.
Quarter onion chopped fine
1 tsp salt
4 cups water
2 green chillies chopped
1 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder


Quarter large onion sliced
2 large garlic cloves
2 green chillies slit
1 bayleaf torn
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
2 tbsp ghee
Small handful fresh coriander
Pinch of salt


Wash the lentils a few times and then leave soaking in hot water for at least couple of hours or overnight.

Soaked for a few hours

After soaking, rinse again and add 4 cups of water, the finely chopped onion, salt and 2 green chopped chillies.

Simmered in onions

Bring to boil and simmer on medium.
Keep an eye on it as it may boil over.
Skim any froth from the top and discard.
I leave my ladle in the pan to prevent over flow!

After about 10mins add the turmeric and cumin powder.

In goes turmeric and cumin

Cover and cook till the lentil has reduced and its soft when pressed against pan sides.
You should aim for a soupy mixture. Your Dal will thicken after cooking.

Cooked lentils soft to touch

When your Dal is at the consistency you want you are ready to temper.

Adjust to favoured consistency

In a pan add the ghee, when its melted add the bayleaf, dried chilies and cumin seeds.

Temper with whole spices

As soon as they become aromatic add the onions then garlic.

Then fresh

Add a pinch of salt and fry till golden brown. Take of heat and add the kashmiri chilli powder. Stir and drizzle over Dal.

Garnish with coriander.

Poured on the Dal
Garnished with coriander
Ready to serve

If you want cook the Dal for another 5 minutes covered to allow temper to infuse.

Serve garnished with a handful of coriander!

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