This recipe for moong dal is the simplest recipe I could design for you, while still keeping it authentic with fresh ginger, turmeric, red chili, lemon, and cilantro.
Moong dal is sometimes referred to as yellow dal, split yellow dal, dal tadka, dal fry, or mung dal.
Rest assured, this is that comforting dish you always enjoy when you order it at an Indian restaurant. Now you can learn to make it at home.
Moong dal is known for being highly balancing to mind and body, and the easiest to digest of all the legumes in the world.
Digestibility is an important factor when choosing a legume, because so many people have trouble digesting beans and lentils.
Moong Dal BenefitsMoong dal is the hulled and split form of mung beans, which are moss-green colored. A lot of people confuse moong and mung. Now you won’t make that mistake.
Some people regard moong bean as a superfood due to its high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber is what makes moong dal a little gooey. Sometimes it requires more water to thin it out.
This mucilaginous soluble fiber soothes and heals the digestive tract, and is very supportive for gut health.
Moong Dal NutritionCompared to other legumes, moong dal is also very high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium, along with a good amount of iron and zinc.
Moong Dal ProteinA 1 cup serving of cooked moong dal contains 14 grams of protein.
Moong Dal Vs Toor DalIf you cannot find moong dal, you can substitute with toor dal, chana dal (split), yellow lentils, red lentils, or even yellow split peas, but be aware that the cooking time and consistency of the final dish will change.
Due to their slight variations in fiber and other nutrients, cooked beans and lentils have different consistencies when cooked.
Moong dal is quite sticky, and can even be a little hard to manage. (As I mentioned, it needs to be thinned out with extra water.)
To balance out the stickiness factor, you could use half moong and half of another type of dal. I like an equal combination of moong dal and toor dal.
Where to BuyIf you are going to make this recipe (and I hope you will!), you will need to buy some moong dal.
Moong dal is available at Whole Foods stores, and some conventional grocers.
Moong dal Instant PotI have included instructions to make this moong dal recipe in three ways: in an Instant Pot, in a stovetop pressure cooker, and in a regular saucepan.
How to MakeThere are three steps to successfully cook moong dal, and each step is easy.
The first step is to cook the moong dal using one of the three methods until it is very soft and falling apart.
The second step is to sauté the spices in ghee. You will need a tiny skillet or pot to prepare the spices efficiently. The trouble with trying to do this step in something larger is that you won't have enough fat concentrated in one place to drown the spices in, and the spices need to stay in the fat to cook properly. Be careful when preparing the spices. Use low heat, pay close attention, and stir continuously.
Ingredients and FlavorThe overall flavor of the dish is mildly spicy from the ginger, turmeric, and red chili, earthy from the moong dal and cumin seeds, and lemony from the fresh lemon.
You also want to make sure that you can taste the salt.
The spices you'll need for this recipe are cumin seeds, fresh ginger, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and cilantro.
Red chili is what they call Indian chili powder, but you could also substitute with cayenne pepper is this is what you have in your pantry to start.
Lemon is essential to get the right taste. The energizing sour taste picks up the otherwise dull and earthy quality of the dal.
Cumin is pretty essential for dal also. The dish will not be the same if you don’t use it.
I am giving you these tips to help you to be successful, which I know you can be.
I want you to enjoy this dish so much that you cook it weekly, and use it to improve your overall health.
Recipe for Simple Moong DalPrep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking time: 4 hours
Servings: 4 servings
This moong dal is very simple to make while still keeping it authentic with fresh ginger, turmeric, red chili, lemon, and cilantro.
- Instant Pot: Reduce the amount of water to 1 ¾ cup. Ensure the steam valve is on “Sealing,” and set the timer to cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes. After that, force release any remaining pressure by carefully opening the steam valve to “Venting.” Open the lid and remove it.
- Stovetop pressure cooker: Use high heat to bring the pressure up to high (when you hear the first whistle), then reduce the heat slightly. Cook under pressure for 6 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes, then open the lid safely.
- Saucepan method: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the dal becomes very soft and broken apart. Add more water if necessary so that the dal remains covered.
Asafetida (also known as hing)
Asafetida is often added to yellow dal as a flavor enhancer, digestive, and substitute for onions and garlic.
To make this dish even more authentic, add a pinch of asafetida with the turmeric and red chili.
Since asafetida is a sticky resin, manufacturers often mix it with a little flour to make it easier to use and to reduce its potency. This recommendation is mixed with fenugreek, which is another spice. It is more costly than normal. At an Indian store, or online, you can buy this product for much less. It is the lower cost one that I use.