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Panchmel Dal in Instant Pot - Five Lentil Soup

Panchmel Dal is a mix of five lentils cooked together to create a creamy, thick, delicious lentil curry that tastes great when scooped up with warm chapatis or eaten with basmati rice. This recipe is inspired by Rajasthani cuisine which favors mixing of dals. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dal, lentil, lentil soup, mixed dal, panchmel dal, soup
Servings: 6 people
Author: Kanika Samra


  • Instant pot


Dals or lentils

  • 1 cup Mixed lentils - split and husked moong and masoor, split moong, split urad and toor
  • 2-3 cups Water for pressure cooking

For the first Tadka

  • 4-5 pods Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece Ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 Green chillies, chopped
  • 1 or 1/2 Red onion, diced
  • 1 or 1/2 Tomato, diced
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Olive oil or any cooking oil

Ground and whole spices

  • 1/4 tsp Heeng or Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Zeera or Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Rai or Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Whole Peppercorns coarsely ground
  • 5 to 6 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Dhani or Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri mirch
  • 1/2 tsp Haldi or Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Final Tadka

  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp Zeera or Cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 Whole Red Chillies
  • Few cracks of black pepper options


Wash and soak lentils

  • Measuring and wash lentils thrice in plenty of water until water runs clear. Soak by filling bowl all the way while you prep other ingredients.

First Tadka

  • Next, clean and chop garlic, onion and tomato.
  • Turn on the instant pot to the Sauté mode on high for 10 minutes.
  • Once the pot feels warm (check by hovering hand over it, do not touch), add oil and then spices in this sequence – pinch of heeng, cumin seeds, rai or mustard seeds, cloves and roughly crushed peppercorns. Sauté for a couple minutes until fragrant.
  • Next, add garlic and sauté until it starts browning followed by onion. Cook until onion is translucent. At this point add all tomato and cook until tomato starts softening.
  • Add all the ground spices – turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder and salt. Mix well and continue to cook until the tadka is mushy or the pot’s Sauté mode ends.

Pressure Cook the lentils

  • Add the soaking lentils along with soaking water to the pot. Then, add another 1 and 1/2 or 2 cups of water.
  • Close the instant pot lid with the vent “sealed” and select “Pressure Cook” on high for 12 minutes. 

Simmer lentils

  • After pressure cook ends, turn off the pot and quick release pressure.
  • Turn it back on to Saute mode at high for 10 minutes. Mix the lentils and simmer with a lose fitting lid. They will thicken by the end of this cooking time. If there is extra water cook a little longer.

Final tadka and serving

  • Pour lentils in a serving dish.
  • Warm ghee in a small pan. Then add cumin seeds, whole red cillies and a pinch of chili powder.
  • When eveyrthing is spluttering, turn off heat and pour it over the lentils. Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantor and serve with warm flatbreads or rice.



  1. I sometimes find my instant pot flashing the “Hot” warning. In my experience adding a wet ingredient or a splash of water usually cools it down enough for the warning to end.
  2. Quick release pressure by turning the vent to “venting”. While doing this place a kitchen towel over the vent and make sure you keep your hand and arm away from the steam that escapes. Watch how I do it in the video.