Moong dal is my go-to recipe for my weekly menu. If you like lentils and lots of garlic then this recipe is for you. Cooked moong lentils with garlic and cumin seed tempering make such a hearty meal. Eat it as is, with rice or flatbread for a wholesome meal.
Yellow Moong Dal
Moong ki dal aka yellow split mung lentils are one of the staple lentils in South Asia. Whole mung beans, mung lentils, and moong dal are the same thing. Yellow moong dal is made from skinned and split mung beans. Yellow split lentils are quicker to cook compared to whole green mung beans or mung lentils with skin.
There is no one way or right way to prepare dal. Every region or I should say every household in India has its own version of moong dal recipe. It's all about your personal preference and what you have on hand in your pantry.
Poor or rich, all households in India prepare Moong dal at least once or twice a week. Yellow moong dal is inexpensive, and a great source of vegetarian protein, fiber, potassium, and iron. It is also an easy-to-digest lentil. That being said, this recipe would make a great healthy meal, woot woot!
Ingredients to Cook Moong ki Dal
Dal is such a versatile Indian recipe. You can use the same recipe with different lentils and create your own version of dal. How cool is that? I personally like cooking moong ki dal because it cooks fast, is healthy, gluten-free, and easy to whip up using a handful of ingredients.
- Moong Lentil (dal): I am using skinned and split yellow moong lentils.
- Tomato: I am using one small Roma tomato for this recipe. I love the flavors of softened tomatoes in my dal. It gives a slightly sweet and tangy flavor to dal.
- Ground Spices: I like to keep the moong dal recipe simple. I am using a tad bit of turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and chili powder to mildly season peeli (yellow) dal.
- Tadka (Tempering): simple minced garlic and cumin seeds tempering is my favorite part of this recipe. I highly recommend using freshly minced garlic for dal tempering.
How to Cook Mung Lentils?
- Rinse ½ a cup of yellow moong dal (skinned and split mung lentils) with water a couple of times until the water runs clear.
- Lentils are quicker to cook in a pressure cooker or in an Instant pot. I am using an Instant pot for this recipe but the same instructions can be followed for stove-top cooking in a pressure cooker or a regular pot.
- Add washed and cleaned moong dal, 2 cups of water, 1 small chopped tomato, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon turmeric powder in an instant pot.
- I like using more turmeric powder in my dal recipes. You may add as per your taste preference.
- Pressure cook mung dal in an instant pot on a high-pressure setting for 12 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are in hurry, fold a kitchen towel and put it on top of the IP vent to release the steam.
- If you are using a pressure cooker, pressure cook on the stovetop on medium heat for 4 whistles then turn off the heat. Let the vent release naturally. Cook for 5-6 whistles if you plan on manually releasing the vent for a quick meal.
- Once the venting is released, start preparing for dal tadka (tempering).
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil of ghee in a small skillet. Heat oil over medium heat then add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- Once the cumin starts to change color, add minced garlic to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is golden. Turn the heat off then add ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder to tadka (tempering).
- Quickly add the tempering to mung dal. Stir to mix the tempering in the dal.
- Serve it immediately with plain rice, or flatbread and your favorite side dish.
How to Serve Yellow Indian Lentil?
I like to serve dal with plain rice, or roti(Indian flatbread), a vegetarian side dish, and Indian salad (kachumber) or pickle.
What to Serve with Dal-Rice?
We Gujaratis (folks from the western part of India) love serving dal with chawal (plain rice) and at least one or two vegetable curries like aloo palak, stir-fried cabbage, and pickles.
- Aloo Palak | Indian Spinach Potato Recipe
- Stuffed Peppers-Bharela Marcha nu Shaak
- Bhindi Sabzi | Okra Stir Fry
- Gujarati Stir-Fried Cabbage Recipe (Sambharo)
- Chili Pickle | Gujarati Athela Marcha Recipe
- Shishito Pepper Pickle(Athela Marcha)
- Indian Spiced Brussels Sprouts Recipe
- Tomato Salad with Cumin and Lime
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need:
Moong Dal Recipe | Indian Yellow Lentil
- ½ cup moong dal (yellow mung lentil) , thoroughly washed
- 2 cups water
- 1 small tomato (Roma, vine, or other similar variety) , chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon corinder powder (ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 3 Tablespoons oil or ghee , less for lower calorie meal
- 4 medium garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder , optional
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon
- Rinse moong dal with water a couple of times until the water runs clear then drain all the water.
- Add 2 cups of water, washed and cleaned moong dal, chopped tomato, cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric, and salt to an Instant pot.
- Pressure cook mung dal on high heat setting for 12 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are in hurry, manually release the steam. (Fold a kitchen towel and put it on top of the IP vent to release the steam. It helps prevent steam from making cabinets dirty.)
- See notes for stovetop cooking instruction.
- Once the venting is released, start preparing for dal Tadka (tempering).
- Add oil of ghee in a small skillet. Heat it over medium heat then add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- Once the cumin starts to change color, add minced garlic to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is golden.
- Turn the heat off then add ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder to the tempering. (Skip this step if not using chili powder)
- Quickly add the tempering to mung dal. Stir to mix the tempering in the dal. Serve it immediately with plain rice, or flatbread and your favorite side dish.
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