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What is Punjabi food?

I was inspired to start Incredible Kitchen to share the recipes for the food that my mom cooks every day.  The food that she cooks is quintessential Punjabi,  using traditional techniques developed over thousands of years. Moreover, the Punjabi food, cooked in the homes, is mostly vegetarian and uses seasonal vegetables, copious amounts of garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes and green chillies. While the spices such as coriander, cumin seeds and ajwain add flavour and heat, the fresh herbs such as coriander add further flavour and fragrance to the dishes. Dishes are accompanied with pickles, chutneys, salad and home-made yogurt called dahi. Chapatis and rice round up the meal.

So, on this new year eve, I am sharing the recipe for making panchranga daal which is made in millions of Punjabi homes every day. It’s relatively easy to make and is delicious. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.

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Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories/Serving 300kcal


  • 1.5 cup mixed lentils mah whole, mungi whole, masar whole, channa daal whole, all four lentils in equal quantity
  • 1 large onion 3-4 inch in diameter, finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes 2-3 inch in diameter, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 green chillies ends removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala recipe here
  • 1-2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp smoked mustard oil
  • Handful of coriander leaves chopped


  • Wash the lentils (mah whole, mungi whole, masar whole and channa daal) and put them  all in the pressure cooker with 3-4 cups of water.  Close the pressure  and cook on high heat.
  • Turn off the heat after one whistle pressure. Put the pressure cooker under water to cool it down.
  • Open the pressure cooker and drain  all the water.
  • Add 4-5 cups of water, turmeric, salt and mustard oil to the pressure cooker. Close it and set on high heat.
  • After the first pressure whistle, set the heat to low and cook for another 15-20 minutes
  • In parallel, in a separate wok or pan, add the ghee. Once the ghee melts, add the cumin seeds.
  • Once the seeds start to sputter, add the garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minute until the garlic is lightly browned.
  • Add the ginger and green chilli and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes until they are browned. Alternate the heat between high and medium.
  • Add the coriander powder and the chilli powder. After a few minutes, add the tomatoes and half of coriander leaves.
  • Sauté the tadka for another 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Alternate the heat between high and medium.
  • Add the yogurt and continue to sauté for another few minutes until the mixture stops sticking to the sides of the pan.
  • Add the garam masala and sauté for few seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the tadka to the daal in the pressure cooker. Close the pressure cooker and cook until the first whistle and turn off the heat. Let the pressure cooker cool before opening it.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with chapatis, parantha or rice.


If you don't have a pressure cooker at home, you can use the slow cooker to cook the daal overnight.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Incredible.kitchen or tag #myincrediblekitchen!


Recipe for Making Panchranga Daal (Mixed Lentil Soup)

Freshly Made Panchranga Daal

6 Replies to “Panchranga Daal (Mixed Lentil Soup)”

  1. 5 stars
    What is mah whole ?

    In the list ingredients you might want to fix the typo of 10 cloves of ginger to 10 cloves of garlic.

    I would just explore the tadka recipes for other curries — it’s so good.

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