Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (2022)

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This Moong dal is comforting, hearty, protein-packed, flavorful and super tasty!! Make this for a perfect, easy and wholesome vegetarian Indian meal that’s gluten-free and can be made vegan. Serve it with plain rice, flavored rice, roti, naan or parathas alongside kachumber, chaas or lassi. In this post I share 2 ways to make moong dal recipe – moong dal fry and moong dal tadka with stovetop and instant pot instructions.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (1)

In Indian cuisine, we cook many different kinds of lentils and in fact our everyday diet consists of lentils. Moong dal is one of them which is used regularly. If you are new to lentils you may be interested to know more

About Moong Dal

Moong dal is the split version of whole mung beans also known as green gram, either with or without skin. The skinned version is known as yellow moong dal, yellow dal or yellow petite lentils. Split version with the skin is known as chilka moong dal, chilka mung or split green mung. These have the green skin intact and only the mung beans are split.

Both kinds of split moong dal (with & without skin) can be used in most preparations. They can also be used interchangeably if you are okay with the color of the dish. So using split moong dal with skin is the same as using the whole green gram except for the cooking time.

Contents hide

1 About Moong Dal

2 How to Make Moong Dal Tadka (Stepwise Photos)

3 Instant pot Moong Dal Tadka (PIP)

4 Pro Tips

5 Recipe Card 1

6 How to make Moong Dal Fry (stepwise pics)

7 Recipe card 2

Did you know that moong dal nourishes, heals, detoxes and balances the disturbances in the body?

Moong dal is one of the most favored lentils in the traditional Indian cuisine which is based on the age old Ayurveda principles. According to Ayurveda, moong lentils are believed to be Tridoshic, meaning they are capable of balancing any disturbances in the body (vata, pitta and kapha).

Hence moong dal is used widely to make various dishes like Dal khichdi, sambar, stew, soups, salads, curry, stir fry, pesarattu and Moong dal dosa.

Since moong dal is easily digestible, it can be consumed by most people including babies, without any problems.

My Recipe

Tired of bland and boring moong dal? Then you got to try my recipes. You will be surprised at how a simple lentil dish can taste so good, bursting with flavors.

There are 2 ways you can cook these lentils – Moong dal tadka and Moong dal fry. To make moong dal tadka, we cook the lentils with some spices and tomatoes. Then a hot tempering/tadka made with ghee, garlic and other spices is poured over the cooked lentils to make the dish more flavorful and delicious.

To make Moong dal fry, you cook the lentils plain with only water. Later make a spicy base with onions tomatoes and spices. Lastly simmer the cooked lentils in this base. Both the methods taste different but delicious in their own way.

If you ask me which one is better and why should you use one over the other. I would say it is just a matter of convenience & a choice of taste. So here you will see both the methods.

Here are some tips on cooking moong dal perfectly:

  • Avoid overcooking – This make the dal sticky.
  • Use good amount of water – Dal becomes too thick and lumpy after cooling so mung dal requires more water.
  • A lot of people also prefer to dry roast the moong dal before cooking as this helps to make the dal more flavoursome and reduces the stickiness.
  • Sometimes I add a small amount of masoor dal along with moong dal. This reduces the stickiness.
  • You can also add 2 tbsps of green gram in this recipe and use ¼ cup more water while cooking. This brings more texture to your moong dal.

How to Make Moong Dal Tadka (Stepwise Photos)

1. Rinse and soak half cup moong dal until you prepare the onions and tomatoes. Chop 1 small onion (¼ cup chopped) and 1 large tomato (½ cup chopped). When you are ready to cook, drain the water from the moong dal.

2. Pour 1 tbsp oil to a pressure cooker or an instant pot. When the oil becomes hot, add half teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 chopped green chilies and 5 to 6 curry leaves. If using instant pot, perform these steps on saute mode.

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3. Saute for a minute and add onions. Fry the onions until transparent, for 2 to 3 mins.

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4. Add half chopped tomatoes (deseeded, if preferred) and half teaspoon salt.

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5. Saute for 2 mins and add the following spices

  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
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6. Saute for a minute and add rinsed & drained moong dal.

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7. Pour 2 cups water. Stir well with a spatula to deglaze the bottom.

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8. Cover and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium heat. If cooking in an instant pot, position the steam release vent to sealing and pressure cook for 10 mins.

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9. When the pressure drops, open the lid and mix well. I did not have to add any more water. But if you want a thinner consistency, add ¼ cup boiling water and simmer for a few mins. Taste test and more salt if required. If you want you can also crush 1 tsp kasuri methi and add it here.

Your moong dal is ready at this stage and you may serve it right away or do a tadka like the way I did. If you want serve it right away without tadka, add some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze lemon juice while serving.

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Tempering

10. To temper, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small tadka pan. Add 2 to 3 crushed small garlic cloves and fry for a minute. When you see it begins to get golden, add red chilies.

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11. Then add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

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12. When the seeds splutter, add 1/8 teaspoon hing, 5 to 6 curry leaves and lastly ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder.

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13. Turn off quickly at this stage to avoid burning the spices.

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Remove this and pour over the cooked moong dal. Gently stir it and serve. We always prefer lemon juice in all of our lentils. If you prefer you may add while serving.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (14)

More Dal recipes
Chana dal
Masoor dal
Dal makhani
Dal fry recipe

Instant pot Moong Dal Tadka (PIP)

I make both moong dal fry and moong dal tadka in my instant pot. There are many ways you can make it in a instant pot. Most often I prefer to cook dal & rice in 2 separate bowls (PIP) at one time in the instant pot. Then I just do a tadka to the cooked dal. I have shared the moong dal tadka and moong dal fry both in the recipe cards.

1. To make the moong dal tadka, rinse half cup moong dal in a bowl. Drain and pour 1½ cups water. Add chopped green chilies and tomatoes. I don’t use onions for this method. Cover the bowl and place it over the rice bowl in the instant pot.

2. Secure the Instant pot with lid, with the steam release handle set to sealing position. Pressure cook for 9 to 10 mins and wait for natural release. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Later remove the dal, add salt and mash it. If it is too thick then, pour some hot water.

3. For the tempering, heat ghee in a small tadka pan. Add mustard & cumin. When they splutter, add red chilli, green chilies & ginger garlic. Optionally add curry leaves too and hing.

4. Turn off the heat and add red chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric. Add this to the cooked moong dal. Stir and serve. Cool down slightly and then squeeze lemon juice.

Pro Tips

  1. Most Indian homes do own a pressure cooker so I have shown this recipe making in the same. If you do not own one, then you can just cook the dal in a pot or instant pot. I have given the instructions for instant pot as well below.
  2. You can also make this as a one pot dish. Again it can be made in a cooker or pot. All you need to do is, do the tempering first & then just add the dal and water. Cover & pressure cook.
  3. We usually do not make very hot & spicy lentils as the original flavor of lentils is lost. However if you love spicy foods, then feel free to double the amount of spices like red chilli powder & garam masala.
  4. If you are not accessible to curry leaves just replace with bay leaf.
  5. To make the dish healthier, I usually add some spinach and carrots. I pressure cook the carrots with the lentils. Then I saute the spinach in the tempering pan until it wilts. Then add the cooked dal.

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Recipe Card 1

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (21)

Moong Dal Recipe

Moong dal is a simple, delicious & healthy Indian lentil side made with skinned mung lentils & spices. This recipe will give you a very flavorful dish that you can serve with plain rice, roti or with any flat breads. Instructions for instant pot and stove top included.

Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time2 minutes

Cook Time28 minutes

Total Time30 minutes

Servings2 people

AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup moong dal (yellow mung lentils)
  • ¼ cup onions (1 small onion fine chopped)
  • ½ cup tomatoes (1 large tomato, deseeded & chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (peeled & fine chopped)
  • 1 green chili (slit or chopped, deseeded if required)
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1¾ to 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)

To Temper

  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil or butter
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 to 8 curry leaves (optional)
  • teaspoon hing (asafoetida, optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder

Instructions

  • Add moong dal to a bowl and rinse it well and drain the water. Repeat rinsing a few times until the water runs clear. Let soak until you prepare the rest.

  • Chop onions, tomatoes, green chilies and ginger.

How to Make Moong Dal (Stovetop)

  • Pour 1 tablespoon oil to a pressure cooker or pot. When the oil becomes slightly hot, add cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add ginger, green chilies and 4 to 5 curry leaves.

  • Fry until aromatic for about a minute and add onions. Saute them until transparent or pink, for 2 to 3 mins.

  • Add tomatoes and salt. Saute for 1 to 2 mins. Stir in turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala. To bring out the flavors, optionally saute for 1 to 2 mins.

  • Drain the water from the moong dal and add the lentils here. Pour water and mix well to deglaze the bottom of the cooker or pot.

  • Cover and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium flame. If cooking in a pot, pour more hot water as required and cook uncovered until the lentils are soft.

  • When the pressure drops, open the lid and add kasuri methi. If you prefer you can mash the moong dal a bit. Taste test and add more salt if required.

  • Moong dal is ready at this stage and you can serve it as is. For extra flavour you may proceed to the next steps.

Tempering

  • Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small pan, on a medium flame. Add the crushed garlic and dried red chillies. Let the garlic fry a bit but not brown.

  • Turn down the heat to low and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Turn off the heat and stir in red chilli powder and hing.

  • Pour this over the moong dal and mix gently. When the dal cools down a bit squeeze some lemon juice and serve.

Instant Pot Moong Dal

  • Pour oil or ghee to the steel insert and press the sautebutton. When the oil turns slightly hot, add cumin seeds & curry leaves orbay leaf, followed by ginger, green chilies and onions.

  • Saute onions for 1 to 2 mins. Stir in turmeric, red chillipowder & garam & masala. Press Cancel. Add tomatoes, moong dal &pour water. Deglaze the pot well.

  • Optionally if you want, you may place a long legged trivetand place your rice bowl over that. You will use only short grain rice here.The cook time for basmati won’t match.

  • Secure the IP with the lid and position the steel releasevalue to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the timer to 10minutes.

  • Let pressure drop manually. Open the lid, add kasuri methi & give a good stir. Taste test and adjust salt. If the consistency is too thick, you may pour some boiling hot water and mix.

  • Though you can serve the moong dal at this stage, sincethis recipe is for a moong dal tadka, make an additional tadka.

  • Heat ghee in a small tadka pan on a medium heat. Add crushed garlic cloves and red chilies. When the garlic begins to smell good, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves (optional).

  • Turn off the stove and stir in red chilli powder and hing(optional). Pour this all over the Instant pot moong dal. Before serving give agentle mix and add some coriander leaves. Squeeze in some lemon juice.

Notes

  1. Lentils: You may use any other skinned lentils of choice. Even whole lentils like green gram or whole masoor dal can be used in this recipe.
  2. Cooking in pot: If you do not have a cooker, simply cook the lentils in a sauce pot. Lentils cooked in pot require more water so add hot water as they cook. Note that you will have to cook them uncovered to avoid overflowing.
  3. Soaking: You may soak the mung dal for at least 30 mins before cooking to cut down the cook time, especially if cooking in a pot.
  4. Vegetables: For more nutrition, you may add a small chopped carrot or 1 cup of chopped spinach.
  5. Tomatoes: We always use fresh tomatoes, however if you want you may use half cup canned tomatoes. Add more spices to adjust the flavors because canned tomatoes usually need more spices to balance.
  6. Curry leaves: You may skip curry leaves if you don’t have. If you have a bay leaf you may add that.
  7. No onion no garlic: You can easily skip the onion and garlic in the recipe. You may substitute garlic with half inch peeled ginger.
  8. Chilies: You can skip green and red chilies. But require red chilli powder for heat.
  9. Instant Pot: I have another simple way to make this in the instant pot. You will simply add all the base ingredients (expect onions, curry leaves & bay leaf) to a bowl. Pressure cook with your rice in pot-in-pot method. Later just make the tempering on the stove top and pour that to the bowl of cooked moong dal.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts

Moong Dal Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 230Calories from Fat 99

% Daily Value*

Fat 11g17%

Saturated Fat 4g25%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 5g

Cholesterol 13mg4%

Sodium 69mg3%

Potassium 457mg13%

Carbohydrates 25g8%

Fiber 12g50%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 593IU12%

Vitamin C 77mg93%

Calcium 56mg6%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

How to make Moong Dal Fry (stepwise pics)

1. Add ½ cup moong dal to a pot or cooker. Rinse it well a few times until the water runs clear. Pour 1½ cups water.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (22)

2. Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame. If cooking in a pot, cook it on a medium heat adding more water as needed. Moong dal should be soft cooked. When the pressure releases naturally, open the cooker and mash it to your liking.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (23)

3. While the moong dal cooks,

  • fine chop 1 small onion
  • fine chop or puree 1 large tomato
  • chop or slit 1 to 2 green chilies
  • Grate or fine chop 1 teaspoon ginger garlic (half inch ginger, 2 garlic cloves)

Tempering

4. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee or oil in a pan. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 broken red chili.

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5. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add 1 teaspoon fine chopped or grated ginger garlic and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies. Add 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf. Curry leaves lend a good aroma and is healthy too so I add them.

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6. When ginger garlic smells good, add a pinch of hing (asafoetida). Then add chopped onions.

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7. Saute until the onions turn lightly pink or golden, add chopped tomatoes.

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8. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. Saute until tomatoes turn completely soft and mushy. You can also add ¼ teaspoon chili powder and ¼ teaspoon garam masala for extra heat and flavor. Saute well for a minute.

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9. Pour ¾ cup water & bring it to a boil. Add mashed moong dal. Stir and bring everything to a boil.

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10. Optional – Add ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi and ½ teaspoon amchur powder. If you do not have amchur powder, add lemon juice just before serving.

Taste test and add more salt if needed. If the consistency is too thick, add some hot water.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (30)

Serve moong dal fry with plain rice, jeera rice or paratha.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (31)

Recipe card 2

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (32)

Moong dal fry

Moong dal is a simple, delicious & healthy Indian lentil side made with skinned mung lentils & spices. This recipe will give you a very flavorful dish that you can serve with plain rice, roti or with any flat breads. Instructions for instant pot and stove top included.

Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup moong dal (or skinned split green gram)
  • cups water (same for IP)

Tempering ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (or ghee or butter)
  • 1 dried red chili (broken & deseeded if required)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds ( jeera)
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) (skip if you don't have)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 green chilies chopped (deseeded for low heat, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic fine chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger fine chopped

Spice powders

  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala

Other ingredients

  • 1 small onion (¼ cup chopped)
  • 1 large tomato (½ cup chopped, deseeded if required)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) (optional)
  • ¼ to ¾ cup water (more or less for consistency)
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or ½ tsp amchur or dry mango powder) as needed

Instructions

  • Rinse moong dal thrice in a pot or pressure cooker with ample amount of water.

How to cook on Stovetop

  • Drain the water completely. Pour 1½ cups water and cook on a medium heat until soft and completely cooked.

  • Pressure cooker for 3 to 4 whistles on a medium heat. If cooking in a instant pot – Place the bowl inside the instant pot, secure the lid & cook for 10 mins on a high pressure.

  • Once the pressure releases, open the lid and check. Moong dal must be soft cooked. If you like smooth & creamy dal then mash it well.

Tempering

  • Pour ghee or oil to a hot pan.Add mustard, cumin & red chili. Let them pop.

  • Next add green chilies, ginger garlic & curry leaves.Fry until a nice flavor comes out.

  • Then saute onions until transparent. Next saute tomatoes until soft & mushy.

  • Add turmeric, salt, garam masala and chilli powder. Saute for a min until aromatic.

  • Pour half cup water and bring it to a boil. Then transfer cooked dal. Pour more water if needed to bring to a desired consistency.

  • Dal is usually made to a thick but of pouring consistency. It turns thick upon cooling.

  • Stir and cook till it begins to bubble.Optional – Add kasuri methi and amchur if using. Stir and switch off.

  • Squeeze in some lemon juice when it cools down a bit.Serve moong dal with rice, roti or any Indian bread.

How to make moong dal in Instant pot

  • Press the SAUTE button on your Instant pot.

  • Pour ghee or oil to the inner pot. Add cumin,mustard, dried red chilli and curry leaves or bay leaf.

  • When they splutter, add asafoetida (hing), onions and green chilies. Fry for about 2 mins until the onions turn transparent.

  • Then add in ginger, garlic, red chili powder, garam masala and turmeric. Give a quick stir.

  • Add in tomatoes, salt, rinsed dal and pour 1½ cups water.

  • Deglaze the inner pot by scrubbing with a spatula to release any bits of food stuck.

  • optional – Place a trivet and place your rice bowl.

  • Secure the IP with the lid. Position the steam release handle to sealing. Press PRESSURE COOK button and set the timer to 10 mins.

  • When the IP is done, press cancel and switch off. Wait for the pressure to release naturally for 10 mins.

  • Release the rest of the pressure manually. With the help of a spoon, gently move the steam release handle from sealing to venting. This releases the steam.

  • Sprinkle kasuri methi over the dal and mash it if you like it smooth. If the dal is too thick you can pour ¼ to ½ cup hot water and bring it to consistency. Taste it and add more salt if needed.

  • Garnish moong dal with coriander leaves and squeeze in lemon juice.

Notes

  1. This recipe can also be made with whole green gram or whole mung beans. Increase the cook time.
  2. Timings for rice and dal together in instant pot, 8 mins if cooking with basmati rice. 10 mins if using normal rice.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts

Moong dal fry

Amount Per Serving

Calories 167Calories from Fat 27

% Daily Value*

Fat 3g5%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Cholesterol 8mg3%

Sodium 656mg29%

Potassium 409mg12%

Carbohydrates 24g8%

Fiber 10g42%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 245IU5%

Vitamin C 41.1mg50%

Calcium 27mg3%

Iron 2.8mg16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Moong dal recipe post is from the Archives. First published in October 2014. Updated and republished in May 2022.

Moong Dal Recipe - Swasthi's Recipes (33)

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