Moong Dal

Moong dal is the split version of whole mung beans also known as green gram (with or without skin). Yellow mung dal or yellow lentils is without skin and split green moong dal is with the skin. Except for the cooking time, using split mung dal is the same as using the whole green gram.

Moong dal is one of the most favoured 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 to make dishes like Dal khichdi, sambar, stew, soups, salads, curry, stir fry and moong dal dosa.

Today, Lopamudra Sahu that works for our partner Edible Routes tells us how to make this delicious dish!


for 2 servings; Total time: 30 min

  • 1⁄2 cup moong dal (yellow mung lentils)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds or panch phoron (I use panch phutan/phoron – It’s a whole spice blend, originating from the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent. All of the spices in panch phoron are seeds. Typically, panch phoron consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts)
  • 1⁄2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp peeled and finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green chili (deseed if you want)
  • 1 tbsp ghee/butter
  • 4-5 curry leaves or 1 bay leaf
  • 1⁄8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 3⁄4 to 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp spoon dried fenugreek leaves/coriander leaves


  1. Most Indian homes use a pressure cooker. This can be made as a one pot/cooker dish. All one needs to do is to do the tempering first and then add the dal and water. Cover and pressure cook.
  2. Soak the moong dal in water for 30 minutes before cooking to cut down the cook time, if cooking in a pot.
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a pressure cooker or pot. When the oil becomes slightly hot, add cumin seeds. When the seeds plutter, add ginger, green chillies and 4 to 5 curry leaves or 1 bay leaf.
  4. Fry until the aroma comes out and add onions (optional). Saute them until a light pink colour is formed.
  5. Then add tomatoes and salt. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in turmeric and saute for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out the flavours.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. When the pressure drops, open the lid and add kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves/coriander leaves. If you prefer you can mash the moong dal a bit. Do a taste test and add more salt if necessary. Add more water if the dal is too thick.
  9. Moong dal is ready at this stage and you can serve it as is.


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