Moong dal is one of the most commonly used lentils in Indian cooking. There are so many recipes with moong dal that are delicious as well as healthy. These are protein packed natural body coolant suitable for summers. Suitable for toddlers above one year and kids too.
These lentils are called as yellow lentils, petite yellow lentils, split mung gram all over the world. These are one of the fastest cooking lentils too. This is a simple moong dal fry recipe where cooked moong lentils are simmered in a simple onion tomato masala. A tempering of cumin seeds, ginger and chilies is the base for masala.
This step by step recipe of dal fry with moong dal will help you make healthy, flavorful & delicious dal that goes well with rice and roti. Both stovetop and instant pot methods included.
Dal or lentil curry is a staple in all Indian homes. Be it south Indian sambar or north Indian daal fry, most homes prepare a lentil based curry multiple a week.
Whenever I make north Indian fare like jeera rice or peas pulao or even breads like naan, paratha, I try to include a dal fry or dal tadka with with toor dal, chana dal or this moong lentils.
Last week I made this moong dal fry recipe to go with jeera rice and thought of sharing the recipe with you all here. It is super simple to make, healthy & delicious. Vegan and gluten free too!
A piping hot bowl of this lentil dish, rice or roti, a salad like kachumber or a raita like veg raita or onion raita or cucumber raita along with a vegetable side dish is my idea of comforting summer meal! Throw in a pickle perhaps 🙂
About This Recipe- Moong Dal
Moong dal or yellow petite lentils are skinned and split mung beans or green gram or green moong dal. Green gram or mung beans are very widely used in Indian cuisine in all its form.
There are two types of moong dal. The moong beans split with the skin are green in color and known as chikla moong dal and the ones without skin are what commonly known as yellow petite lentils or just moong dal. The whole green gram is called sabut moong dal.
These lentils are considered one of the healthiest according to Ayurveda. Ayurveda says moong dal is tridoshic which means it can balance any disturbance in the body from vatha, pitha and kapha, the three doshas.
Next these are one of the fastest cooking lentils that does not need prior soaking. It is very easily digestible and also very light on tummy. It makes moong dal are very suitable lentil for toddlers above 10 months, kids and even elders.
These lentils are also referred to as virya and vipaka which means cooling and sweet. Yellow lentils are considered to have sweet nature and consuming these regularly will help you fight craving sugar.
Next these are excellent body coolant and one of the preferred lentils for summer. It does not induce much body heat as well helps in cooling the excessive heat in the body.
Moong dal is used various recipes in Indian cuisine. Moong dal chilla, pesarattu, moong dal halwa, khichdi and this dal tadka are few popular recipes with this lentils.
In south Indian cuisine also it is widely used in making sambar, adai, kootu etc. It gets cooked easily and tastes delicious in all these recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
Many people do not like moong dal stating it is bland or cloying. If prepared in the right way, this dal is so delicious with unique flavor.
In this recipe I have simmered the lentils in a very delicious and flavorful onion tomato masala with potent spices, so this dish is not bland at all.
Next the texture of this dal fry is creamy & buttery, not pasty as most of them complain about moong dal.
You can keep this moong dal tadka recipe as base and add any vegetable you like to make it healthier and wholesome.
If you are trying to include more moong in your diet or have kids that will not eat moong dal saying it is bland, then do try out this recipe, it will be a hot. This yellow moong dal tadka recipe is
not bland at all
vegan, gluten free
tasty with rice or roti
How To Make Moong Dal Fry
Pick and rinse 1/2 cup moong dal thoroughly. Next to cook moong dal you can use a pressure cooker, an instant pot or boil in a pot on stovetop.
Pressure cooker– add 2 cups water and pressure cook for 4 whistles in medium flame
Instant pot– add rinsed dal to the steel insert and pour 1.75 cups water. Close the IP and set timer for 5 minutes with pressure valve sealed in manual or pressure cook mode. Release pressure naturally.
Pot– Add rinsed lentils in a pot and add 2.5 cups water. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are well cooked. Drain excess water if any.
Once the lentils are well cooked, mash the cooked dal thoroughly until they are smooth and buttery using a potato masher or whisk or an immersion blender.
Making The Masala Base
You can start making the tadka or masala until the moong dal cooks.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Once the oil turs hot add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and fry for few seconds. Next add slit green chilies, few curry leaves and saute. Add 1 teaspoon minced ginger garlic or 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and saute until they turn a bit soft.
Next add 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes and mix well.
Add the spice powders- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Also add salt to taste. Mix everything very well and cook in medium flame until the tomatoes turn soft and the masala leaves out oil from the sides.
Now add the cooked moong dal and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water to adjust consistency. simmer the lentils for 5 minutes.
Finally add finely chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi and mix well. Remove from flame and add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve moong dal fry hot or warm.
Instant Pot Moong Dal Recipe
This is an easy one pot method recipe which you can make using an instant pot or pressure cooker. You don’t have to cook the lentils before hand for this. Just rinse, drain and keep it ready. Keep chopped onions and tomatoes ready.
Place the steel insert inside the instant pot and switch it on. Press saute. Once it displays hot add oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fry for 10 seconds.
Next add minced ginger garlic, slit green chilies and saute. Add chopped onions, tomatoes and spice powders. Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes turn soft.
Add rinsed and drained lentils and 1.75 cups water to deglaze the pot. Also add salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
Cancel saute and close the instant pot. Press manual or pressure cooker mode and set timer for 7 minutes. Position pressure valve to seal.
Once the IP beeps, let the pressure settle down naturally for 5 minutes. Release the residual pressue carefully and open the IP.
Let the dal simmer in saute mode again for 2-3 minutes. Add coriander leaves, kasuri methi and mix. Switch off the IP and add lemon juice. Mix well and serve.
Moong Dal Tadka Recipe
Dal tadka is one more popular method to make lentils curry. It is easier and quicker compared to dal fry.
Here the lentils are cooked along with onions, tomatoes and spice powders to which a flavorful tempering or tadka of whole spices fried in oil is added. Here is the recipe for the same.
Pick and rinse 1/2 cup moong dal and add to a pressure cooker. Also add 1/2 cup chopped onions and 1 cup cubed tomatoes. Next add 2.5 cups water to it. Also add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder and salt to taste. Mix well and close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles in medium flame. If using instant pot cook for 7 minutes in pressure cooker or manual mode with pressure valve sealed.
Once the pressure is released open the cooker and add 1/2 cup water to the cooked dal. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
While the lentils are simmering let us prepare the tadka for moong dal. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry for few seconds. Add 1 slit green chili, 1 teaspoon minced ginger garlic, few curry leaves, 2 dried red chilies and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder. Fry for few seconds.
Add this tadka along with oil to the simmering dal. Mix very well. Add chopped cilantro leaves and mix. Remove from flame. Add lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot.
You can serve moong dal fry with rice or flatbreads. This dal tastes very good with basmati rice, jeera rice, ghee rice, biryani rice, peas pulao.
Vegetable sides like carrot poriyal, cabbage fry, potato fry, okra fry goes well with these lentils.
Flatbreads like phulka, paratha, naan and kulcha are also good with moong lentils curry.
Soaking moong dal is usually not required unlike most other lentils. It is one of the quickest cooking lentils but if you wish you can soak the yellow moong lentils for 15-20 minutes.
Spices used– this is a mildly spiced lentils curry with minimum spices. You can easily increase the spice powders to make the flavors robust.
I have not added asafoetida here but you can add a pinch of it while sautéing cumin. Just make sure to use gluten free one to keep the recipe gluten free.
You can also increase or decrease the amount of green chili, red chili powder to vary the heat.;
The consistency of dal should be slightly thick, buttery and very smooth. Do not add more water else it will turn very thin like soup.
Storing– This dal can be stored for 2 days in refrigerator. You can freeze the cooked dal for a month and prepare the masala as required. Just mix, simmer and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mung dal or yellow lentils are one of the lentils or dal with highest protein content. It is very light on tummy, cooling and best source of plant based protein.
They are known as yellow lentils, yellow petite lentils, split mung bean or gram dal in English.
Yes, just soak it for 4 hours and use it.
More Dal Recipes
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Moong Dal Recipe – Stovetop Instant Pot
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 3/4 cup split mung beans moong dal
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 3-4 green chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 big onion finely chopped
- 1 big tomato finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon kauri methi
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- Rinse and add the mung dal into a pressure cooker.
- Add 3 cups water and cook until done. It should be mushy and smooth.
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next add cumin seeds, curry leaves, slit green chilies, ginger garlic. Fry till raw smell goes off.
- Add chopped onions and saute well.
- Add tomatoes and saute well till mushy.
- Add the spice powders- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Also add salt to taste. Mix everything very well and cook in medium flame until the tomatoes turn soft and the masala leaves out oil from the sides.
- Now add the cooked moong dal and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water to adjust consistency. simmer the lentils for 5 minutes.
- Finally add finely chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi and mix well. Remove from flame and add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve moong dal fry hot or warm.
This moong dal looks so comforting and warm just like baby food for adults 🙂
Chris Pullen says
Last night, I prepared this at home, and it was fantastic.