Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Red lentil with Bengali five spice...

Today I'm sharing a simple everyday dish from my kitchen. Lentil or dal is a staple in every Indian kitchen. We Indians eat various kind of lentils and legumes. I personally like red lentil a lot. Apart from red lentil takes very little time to cook, it is tasty, high in nutrition and low in calorie.

In a Bengali household the most common way to cook red lentil (or what we call 'Masoor dal" in Bengali) is with Bengali five spice, the "Panch foron'. Panch means five and foron means tempering. Panch foron is a mix of five seeds, fennel seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and celery seeds. These mix of seeds are frequently used in many Bengali dishes. Along with its beautiful aroma this spice mix is very healthy too. If you do not get Bengali five spice in store near you, mix the above mentioned seeds in equal amount in a bottle and give a good shake you are ready with your "Panch foron". 

Things needed to make Bengali style Red lentil:

Serves: 4-6
  • Red lentil: 1 cup
  • Onion (thinly sliced): 1/2 cup
  • Garlic (thinly sliced): 1-2 cloves
  • Panch foron or Bengali five spice mix: 1 tsp
  • Dry red chili: 2-3
  • Green chili: 2-3 (optional)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh Coriander chopped: handful

Steps of making Banglai style Red lentil:

1. Wash the red lentil till the water runs clear. To reduce cooking time soak the red lentils for 20-30 min.

2. In a heavy bottom pan or kadhai heat oil. I used mustard oil, olive oil can also be used. When the oil is hot add dry red chilies, garlic, Bengali five spice cook till the seeds start to splutter.

3. Add the thinly sliced onion and cook till brown, add red lentil, salt, turmeric powder and 2 cups of hot water. Let it boil. As it start to boil, reduce the heat and cook till the lentils are done. Stir in between, if you find the lentils are getting too dry add more hot water. Do not add too much of water. This dal will have a thick consistency. Add chopped green chilies (if using) and fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice.

If you like to get regular updates from me go to my Facebook page and click on the Like button. You can also follow my blog on NetworkBlogs. Thank you..!!!


  1. Comfort food ! Perfect with steaming hot rice, ghee and papad! The pictures are a treat for the eyes!

    1. Thank you so much. And yes my daughter loves this with papad or crispy potato fries.

  2. I must be one of the strange people who just loves daal. I really want to try your recipe with 5 spice mix….<3

  3. Musoor daal is my favourite.... I often eat it with rice and omelette ....but I don't use onion and garlic, will definitely try it next time !!!