Navratna Dal: The Nine-Jewel Indian Awesomeness!

Navaratna Dal


The festival season will be upon us in some time. We will all be gearing up for Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Durga Puja and Diwali. If one has to keep a collection of recipes, it should better start months ahead. This amazing Navratna Dal recipe is an example of giving the simple “dal-chawal” meal a festive touch. This is the dal which we don’t make everyday, but on special occassions. The recipe is very simple, only that you need nine different kinds of pulses for this vegetarian dish. This dal is so flavoursome that you actually don’t need to have any other accompaniment with your rice or roti. So why restrict this Navratna Dal for festivals? Make it whenever you want to eat something special out of ordinary Indian ingredients!

Some of the lentils used in this dal have skin and some are without skin. There is a reason behind that, apart from the nutrition point of view. Traditionally, this was done to give the dal a complexity of flavours, textures and colours. This dal has evolved over generations. The modern version of Navratna Dal doesn’t use those secret spices that were used centuries back, neither does it use loads of ghee. But this modern version of Navratna Dal suits the modern appetite and lifestyle, retaining similar flavours of the age-old Navratna Dal.


Navratna Dal

Time taken: 1.40 h

Taste-o-meter: Spicy



  • Green mung dal  (with skin):  1 tbsp
  • Yellow mung dal (without skin): 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal (with skin): 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal (without skin): 1 tbsp
  • Tuvar dal: 1 tbsp
  • Chana dal: 1 tbsp
  • Masoor dal: 1 tbsp
  • Val dal: 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Chola dal: 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Ginger-chilly-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Tomato (finely chopped): ½ cup
  • Onion (finely chopped): ½ cup
  • Oil + ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
  • Cumin-coriander seed powder: 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida:  a pinch
  • Fresh coriander leaves: to garnish


  • Soak all the dals in water for 1 h and pressure cook with one glass of water.
  • Add two cups water to the cooked dal. Now whisk the dal a bit, retaining their texture.
  • Add a cup of water, chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and cumin-coriander seed powder and bring it to boil.
  • Once boiled, pour oil + ghee in a kadhai (tempering vessel) and add the cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds start to crackle, add the ginger-chilli-garlic paste and sauté for 1 min. Add the asafoetida and pour the tempering over the dal.
  • Let it simmer for 5 min, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.


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