1 Mar



 panchamel dal
A proper Indian meal is never complete without having dal. Needless to say that,  dal is an integral dish of the Indian cuisine. However, sometimes we do get bored of having the same dal again and again. That is why, there is a wide variety of dal recipes in all Indian cuisines. 

panchamel spinach dal

 Panchmel dal – This dal recipe is a specialty of Rajasthan and was traditionally cooked on wood fire. As the name Panchmel dal suggests, this dal recipe is prepared with 5 different kinds of dals. True to the style of an Indian recipe, it also has a fair amount of spices. However, the main flavour of Panchmel dal comes from the mixture of 5 dals and not the spices. Garam masala, hing and dry red chillies are used to make Panchmel dal just like any typical Indian recipe. To give a delightful twist to this rajasthani speciality , i added green mango and spinach to this. Mostly we add this to dals made in andhra style especially nellore style which gives a  slight tangy taste to the dal. But if the green mangoes are too much sour just lessen the amount of tomatoes, which will balance the acidicity perfectly.

panchamel@spinach dal

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Toor dal- 2tbsp
  • Chana dal- 2tbsp
  • Urad dal- 2tbsp
  • Masoor dal- 2tbsp
  • Moong dal- 2tbsp
  • 1 large bunch spinach
  • 2 green mangoes
  • Cloves- 2
  • Cardamom- 2
  • Dry red chilli- 3 (broken)
  • Green chillies- 2 (chopped)
  • Ginger- 1/2 inch (grated)
  • Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
  • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
  • Asafoetida or hing- 1 pinch
  • Tomato- 2 ( chopped)
  • Ghee- 2tbsp
  • Salt- as per taste

making panchamel dal

Soak all the 5 dals in water for 30 minutes. Cut, wash and drain the spinach and keep aside.  Chop the green mangoes and tomatoes separetly and keep aside. Then add 2 cups of water, salt, chopped green mangoes,tomatoes,green chilies and turmeric to the dal. Pressure cook it for the duration of 3 whistles on a medium flame.When the pressure is vented lightly mash the dal with a potato-masher or indian ghotni. Add salt and mix.
For the tempering- Heat ghee/oil in a deep bottomed pan. When it gets warm, add the dry red chillies, hing,curry leaves,sliced onion and cumin seeds. After 30 seconds, add the  cardamom, cloves and ginger. Heat the spices for 30 seconds on medium flame. 
Pour the pressure cooked dal into the pan and mix it up with the seasoning. Let the mixed dal bubble for 2-3 minutes. Pour the tempering and more ghee on the dal and serve hot with rice and a side dish.
Traditionally this rajastani dal is serve with dal bati (which are a type of small unleavened breads).


ivy guard fry

We served this dal with  a side dish of stir fried ivy guard. Indian Ivy Gourd is a widely consumed vegetable, available in India through out the year. Called Dondakaya (Telugu) or Tindora/Tondli (Hindi), these cute looking small, stubby, green colored vegetables which grow aggressively on vines are used to prepare delicious stuffed curries, stews, pickles, salads and stir fries. Its very popular and very much loved vegetable from where i come. In face i have not heard of anyone who had a taste of this delicious vegetable and hate it.

ivy guard

Here we will see how we turn the tender green vegetable  of this exotic tropical vine plant into delicious food. And how very simple it is too. You just cut them into whatever shape you like, shallow fry them for a while in a little oil, season them and you are done. You can eat it straight away based on the amount of seasoning you add.

  • 500 grams ivy guard
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

making tindoora fry

Wash and darin the ivy guard, or dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut the ends and discard.  Make thin slices like roundels or cut length wise and keep aside. Just use the green and slightly red one. If them are more ripe, simply discard or they can be eately without cooking.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, splutter the cumin seeds,mustard seeds,curry leaves. Add the chopped garlic and the ivy guard. Fry them on a low flame for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder and cook for few more minutes. Have this as a snack or a side dish with rice.

Research suggests that ivy gourd supports healthy blood sugar by acting like natural insulin in your body. Ivy gourd has been considered as a therapeutic herb in traditional Thai as well as Ayurvedic medication. The parts utilized in diabetes treatment include the leaves; however the primary usage of ivy gourd is cookery, which is regarded as a veggie. Ivy gourd includes beta-carotene, an important vitamin A precursor from plant sources. Additionally it is regarded as an excellent source of protein and fiber.


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