Mixed Dal (Mixed Lentils)

Mixed Dal (Mixed Lentils)

Mixed Dal (Mixed Lentils)

Dal is a staple dish in Indian meals and, for most Indian vegetarians, a frequent source of protein. This delicious, nourishing dish can accompany any number of different meals. Mixing a variety of lentils gives a more interesting flavor.
No ratings yet
Course dal
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 Mixed Dal



  • 1/4 cup split urad dal (with skin) (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/4 cup split-wash moong dal (without skin) (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/4 cup lentil (masoor)
  • 1/4  cup toor dal/arhar (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/2  teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2  teaspoon garam masala, optional (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/2  teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)

Chaunk (Seasoned oil)

  • 4 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee); or oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 4 whole red chilies
  • 1/2  teaspoon red chili powder



  • Combine all dals. Wash and soak in approx. four cups of water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Put three cups water into a pressure cooker and add salt, turmeric, and ginger. Cook on medium high heat.
  • When the pressure cooker starts to steam, turn the heat down to medium and cook seven minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and wait until all the steam has escaped before opening the pressure cooker. Dal should be soft and mushy.
  • Mix dal, if needed, and add more water to adjust thickness to your liking. Cook another three to four minutes on low heat. Dal will thicken as it sits after cooking.  So leave it more liquid than you want it to be.
  • Add garam masala and amchoor powder.

Prepare Chaunk

  • Heat ghee in a small saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the ghee; if it cracks immediately, the oil is ready. Add the cumin seeds. When they begin to crack, add the asafetida, red chilies and red chili powder. Stir for a few seconds.  To prevent the spices from burning, you may add one teaspoon of water.  Pour spiced chaunk over dal.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to make Mix Dal: A Flavorful Medley

Mixed dal, also known as mixed lentils, is a wholesome and nutritious gluten free high protein dish that combines a variety of lentils to create a flavorful medley. This mixed dal recipe is a popular choice in Indian cuisine, loved for its rich taste and comforting texture. 

With a harmonious blend of different lentils, mixed dal offers a balanced combination of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients. Let’s dive into the art of making delicious mixed dal that will tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body.

Step 1: Selecting Lentils

Begin by selecting a variety of lentils for your mix dal. Common choices include split green gram (moong dal), split pigeon peas (toor dal), split chickpeas (chana dal), and red lentils (masoor dal). Each lentil brings its unique flavor and texture to the dish, creating a well-rounded flavor profile. Rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or debris before cooking.

Step 2: Preparing the Lentils

In a large bowl, combine the rinsed lentils and soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to soften them and reduce cooking time. Alternatively, you can skip the soaking step and cook the lentils directly, but soaking helps in faster and more even cooking. Once soaked, drain the lentils and rinse them again before cooking.

Step 3: Cooking the Lentils

Transfer the soaked lentils to a pressure cooker or large pot and cover them with water. For every cup of lentils, add approximately three cups of water. Cook the lentils until they are soft and tender, but not mushy. In a pressure cooker, cook the lentils for about 3-4 whistles, while in a pot, simmer them over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Tempering the Dal

In a separate pan, heat ghee or oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and dry red chilies to the hot oil and let them sizzle and crackle. Then, add ginger, sautéing until they turn golden brown and aromatic. Next, add diced tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices, adding a tangy sweetness to the tempering.

Step 5: Flavoring the Dal

Once the tempering is ready, add ground spices such as turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and red chili powder to the pan, stirring well to combine. The spices infuse the tempering with their rich flavors and aromatic fragrance, enhancing the taste of the dal. You can adjust the amount of spices according to your preference for heat and flavor intensity.

Step 6: Combining Lentils and Tempering

Once the lentils are cooked and the tempering is flavored, add the tempering to the cooked lentils, stirring gently to combine. Let the dal simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the consistency to thicken slightly. If the dal is too thick, you can add more water to achieve the desired consistency.

Step 7: Garnishing and Serving

Before serving, garnish the mixed dal with freshly chopped cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness and color. You can also squeeze a dash of lemon juice over the dal for an extra tangy kick. Serve the mixed dal hot with steamed rice or roti for a comforting and satisfying meal.

Tips for Perfect Mixed Dal

  • Balance of Lentils: Experiment with different ratios of lentils to find the perfect balance of flavors and textures. You can adjust the proportion of each lentil according to your preference.
  • Tempering Variation: Get creative with the tempering by adding ingredients like curry leaves, green chilies, and grated coconut for added flavor and complexity.
  • Consistency Control: Pay attention to the consistency of the dal and adjust it by adding more water if it’s too thick or simmering it longer if it’s too thin.

Variations of Mixed Dal

  • Creamy Coconut Dal: Add coconut milk or grated coconut to the dal for a creamy and indulgent variation. Coconut adds richness and sweetness to the dish, balancing the spices.
  • Vegetable Medley Dal: Enhance the nutritional value of the dal by adding a variety of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and spinach. Vegetables add color, texture, and flavor to the dish, making it more wholesome and satisfying.

Benefits of Mixed Dal

  • Protein-Packed: Mixed dal is a rich source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Fiber-Rich: With a high fiber content, mixed dal promotes digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Mixed dal is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nourishing and balanced meal option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use canned lentils for mixed dal?

  • Yes, you can use canned lentils for convenience, but keep in mind that they may have a softer texture compared to dried lentils.

Can I freeze mixed dal for later use?

  • Yes, you can freeze mixed dal in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Is mixed dal gluten-free?

  • Yes, mixed dal is naturally gluten-free as it contains no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.

Please Subscribe to my YouTube channel

26 thoughts on “Mixed Dal (Mixed Lentils)

  1. hello aunty…as onion is used in every dish in north india but u don’t do so…what if we add onion in chaunk for daals and other dishes……?

  2. hello aunty.thanks heaps for sharing all this . i always had a craze of learning cooking but u had made it very easy and free of cost… lov u n ur recipes 🙂 feel so gud to hav compliments after i serve them….

  3. Hello Manjula!

    i hope you still read these comments…anyway i ask my question..
    so can i use only masoor dal and regular lentil instead of the 4 different type?is it going to be nice as well(maybe in a slightly different way)?
    or can i add chick pea too to the mixture?I’am asking because where i live its a little bit difficult to take all those different dals.

    Many thanks and have a nice day!

  4. HI Manjula,

    This is an awsome,quick and healthy dish. Thanks. Tried and received loads of compliments 🙂 I try almost all your receipes.All are nice. keep posting new receipes. thanks.

  5. Namaste Aunti Ji,

    Your recipes are amazing i cook one or two everyday,

    But with this particular recipe i am struggling with the consistency it is too watery unlike yours, i do not have a pressure cooker ! i did boil and simmer until slightly mushy then i added all the other things but still watery ? help me please

    thank you sonita.

  6. Wht a healthy dal..fully protein rich and delicious with tht flavorful,aromatic chaunk…can smell it…totally amazing…feels like grabbing the dal off the screen ….Yummo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.