moong dal tadka recipe, how to make moong dal recipe


moong dal fry

moong dal tadka recipe – amongst one of the many recipes i make with moong dal.

some people don’t like moong dal as it is little bland. but trust me this moong dal tadka is not bland and has flavors of tempered cumin, garlic, garam masala and red chili powder.

moong dal or skinned, spilt mung gram is amongst one of the most commonly used lentils in india. there are many recipes made from mung dal – like this dal (in india the dal dish is also called as dal as well the raw lentils are also called as dal), sun dried dumplings or vadis, dhokla, dosa, halwa, kheer and in veggie dishes.

moong dal is easy to digest and is often given to kids as well as convalescing adults. this does not mean that you cannot have this nutritious dal. you should include lentils in your diet, including this dal.

here’s a simple moong dal recipe. this dal is extremely good with some steamed basmati rice accompanied by a side vegetable dish or raita. have some roasted papads and lime or mango pickle also by the side. a truly comfort and satisfying meal.

i paired the moong dal with some steamed sona masoori rice and aloo methi.

moong dal tadka recipe

if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check dal tadka, chana dal fry, masoor dal, cholar dal and mango dal recipe.

moong dal tadka recipe below:

4.7 from 15 reviews
moong dal tadka recipe
 
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
 
moong dal tadka recipe - mung dal cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger and then tempering with cumin, garlic, green chili and some indian spice powders.
AUTHOR:
RECIPE TYPE: main
CUISINE: indian, north indian
SERVES: 3-4 servings
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
main ingredients:
  • ¾ cup moong dal/spilt skinned mung lentils
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger/adrak, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • ⅓ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 3 cups water
  • salt as required
for tempering
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 4-5 garlic/lahsun, crushed lightly
  • ¼ or ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • 1 or 2 green chilli/hari mirch - slit
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 2-3 tbsp oil or ghee or butter
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. take all the ingredients listed under main ingredients except salt in a pressure cooker.
  2. stir well and pressure cook till the dal is cooked and soft.
  3. once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.
  4. if the dal looks thick, then add some water and simmer for 1-2 minutes. add salt and keep aside.
  5. in a small pan, heat oil or ghee or butter. first fry the cumin seeds.
  6. next add the garlic and green chili and fry for some seconds.
  7. don't brown the garlic. switch off the flame.
  8. now add the garam masala powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.
  9. switching off the flame ensures that the spice powders don't get burned.
  10. you can also fry the spice powders on a low flame.
  11. make sure you don't burn them.
  12. stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture in the dal.
  13. stir the moong dal and serve hot moong dal with steamed rice or chapatis.
  14. the moong dal tastes better as it is and there is no need to garnish or add coriander leaves to it.




{ 87 Responses }

  1. Gary Kulkarni says

    Hi Dassana-ji, I have noticed that I write 10 times more than the other responsees – so I better be terse, and to the point …. even at the expense of my humor….
    First of all, thank you for printing my letter.
    I read somewhere – in your recipes, in a reply to a letter, ( Mah. Amti recipes – March 31, 2015) that you recommend throwing out the ‘wash water’ – used for say, soaking beans and dals, before cooking. I think you wrote that the soaked water ( supernatent ) should be discarded, – ‘because it contains phytates’. Here is a link Are phytates good or bad – by Dr. Andrew Weil M.D. . Dr. Weil is. supposedly, as highly respected, here in the US, as say, Dr. Deepak Chopra. I believe myself to be a hedonist, only interested in good food, irrespective of nutrition, soo I don’t read either of them or – for that matter, – any of them …..

    But I do believe, that if urad dal is soaked in water for grinding into dosa or idli dough – you should reuse the water that it was soaked in because then the resulting fermentation is much more successful and faster. This is not as important in India, where there are plenty of bacteria to help , ;-o) and the ambient temperatures are relatively higher, at all times of the year – but, say, in the US, where the temperatures can be very cold – then fermentation of the dough can present a challenge. For the idli/dosa dough I have found that adding some poha, some puffed rice, one slice of bread and some methi seeds – all before the grinding – can do wonders for fermentation.

    Have you used Teppals / Tirphal in your recipes ? Since I have a konkani background , I have used them sometimes, — here is a good description, with pictures .

    • says

      there are a few readers of the blog who write a lot. so you have company :-)

      i agree on the point of soaking lentils or legumes in water in both the points you mentioned. when i soak rajma or chana, then i do discard the soaked water. but for idli or dosa, i use the soaked water for grinding the urad dal. because as you mentioned it helps in better fermnentation and also fermentation changes the quality of nutrients in the batter. an indian climate is very good for fermenting idli or dosa batter. i also add methi seeds, poha or cooked rice while grinding the batter. thanks for sharing the tip on bread. never tried bread. also thanks for sharing the links.

      i use teppals/tirphal in usal or the goan vegetarian curries i make. i also use them while making schezwan sauce. i still have a stock of them at home :-)

  2. Gary Kulkarni says

    Hi Dassanaji, I tried your Mung dal recipe as above, and it came out great ! I had already mixed equal quantities of mung and masoor dal ( old, old, stock, that I had to use up – ) and pressure cooked them for 12 minutes. Unfortunately, our pressure cookers in the USA do not whistle, …. so we have to use a timer …. and do the whistling ourselves . I generally whistle the song,’Pyar kiya toh darna kya – from Mughal-E-Azam.’. ;-0)
    Then I came here and read out your recipe …. so I had to fry the onions and the ubiquitous tomato in the tadka. We ate the dal with some Kali Jeera rice. In my humble opinion, the kali jeera rice – the socalled ‘pearl grained basmati rice’ — is a waste of time and money. Just my personal opinion. The wife and I ate the dal with the kali jeera rice and some chana masala, that I made yesterday – and now we’re well fed and snug as a bug in the rug. Thanks for your glorious recipes !!! Next week, I am going for Mt. Everest — I am going to try to make your khasta masala peas kachori !

  3. shilpa says

    I hav tried it was easy and delicious loved it. Great work looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  4. redha says

    Hi Dassana, I like your website and the variety of the recipes. Actually, I m looking for a new way how to make yellow mung dal (the tiny yellow dal) in order to find out the more delicious one. I got confused here, is this a yellow mung dal? if not, is there a recipe in your blog to call for that dal please. thank you in advance

  5. Asghar says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. It came out very well. I had it with parathas but would try it with white rice later. Best wishes, Asghar

  6. Mira Jimenez says

    Wow, i am just reading your website but haven’t cooked…you make it look easy…and they do definitely look delicious…thanks for sharing your recipes…more power!

  7. Nancy says

    I Come back to your recipes time and time again. I Always refer to this recipe as my Hug recipe as I always find it uplifting and so lovely to eat that it’s like I am being given a hug.
    Nancy

  8. Juvy says

    Hi! Just a quick question, when I’m cooking the daal in the pressure Cooker, should I put on high heat or medium heat, and how many whistles should I wait before turning off the heat? Thanks!

    • says

      juvy, cook the dal on high heat. you can pressure cook the moong dal for 4-6 whistles or till the dal is cooked and soft. actual whistles depends upon the quality of dal.

  9. shreeja says

    Hi Dassana
    I am an avid follower of ur recipes and must
    say that I have tried many of them
    and my family members just luv it
    Thanks for ur recipes
    God bless

  10. gayathri says

    I don’t have my mother or my mil to teach me cooking. I just read your blog and learnt cooking. Thanks a lot!!

  11. gayathri says

    Made this for my friends on a Sunday night. My friend who literally hates dal because it is usually made bland loved it. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

    I didn’t have sambhar powder that day – so this was my menu:
    Dal
    Rasam
    Rice
    Cabbage
    Chips

    It was warm and fulfilling meal. So thank you. Oh I used you rasam recipe as well.

  12. Sandeep says

    Hi, Can I ask a few stupid questions :

    1. Often when I make dal, it becomes bitter, sometimes it doesn’t. In restaurants I almost never get a bitter taste, and sometimes I even seem to get a very mild sweet taste that doesn’t come from sugar. What is the secret to conquering the bitterness?

    2. Some people put salt before cooking dal, some do after cooking. One view seems to be that putting salt before cooking makes it take longer to cook, but what difference does either approach make to the taste?

    3. I often find it difficult to get the effect of the tadka seep into the dal. Are there tips I could use to this effect?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    • says

      questions are not stupid. we always learn and keep on learning. my answers below:

      1. the bitterness can be due to quality of water. i guess. in all my years of cooking dal, i have never got dal tasting bitter. so i assume it must be the water. dal if cooked properly gets a mild sweetness. this is true for most lentils. even if you add a small onion while cooking dal, then it makes the dal taste a bit sweet.
      2. i usually do not add salt while cooking as then they don’t become smooth and mushy. when salt is added, they do cook, but have separate grains.
      3. add the tadka and immediately close the pan or cooker with lid for a few minutes. the tadka aroma & flavor will infuse in the dal.

  13. Amber says

    This was great! It has taken me a long time to realize that I love Moong dal but dislike brown lentils. I kept trying lentil recipes with brown lentils and thought they tasted terrible, and yet every time I visited my husband’s family I liked their dal. This is a nice basic recipe. I just sautéed everything and then added the dal and water so it was all in one pot. Yum! We served it with zucchini (recipe below), basmati rice, and a roti ( a browned tortilla with butter!)

    We had zucchini on the side: (2 medium zucchini cut into half-moons, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds). Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a pan, add the spices, then increase the heat until the oil/butter bubbles. Add squash and sauté for a few minutes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and sugar on the squash and cover the pan. The squash will steam in its own juices. Cook until tender, then take off the lid and evaporate extra water if needed.

    • says

      thanks a lot amber for this lovely feedback as well as for sharing the zucchini recipe. i have noted down your recipe. zucchini is not easy to get here, so i will make it with bottle gourd.

      • Amber says

        The bottle gourd squash would probably work well. I sometimes use yellow squash instead and the taste is very similar.

        I love that zucchini recipe because it comes out a bit sweet and just so buttery, even though not much butter is added. Eating it with naan or roti is even better!

  14. shweta says

    Hey.iam a big fan of your recipes. I have tried number of your recipes.thanks for sharing these recipes with us

  15. himani sanwal bisht says

    Hi my new love :p
    have been trying ur recipes day after day and they are coming out awesome. :)
    Wanna ask that in the above dal recipe u have not added kasuri methi while in ur other dal recipes u have used it…..any particular reason for that? What is kasuri methi used for in general? I mean how does it affect the taste of any dish?
    Thank you for ur marvellous blog n recipes .. :) :)

    • says

      hi himani :)
      there is no particular reason for not adding kasuri methi. you can add kasuri methi in this moong dal recipe too. kasuri methi is aromatic and gives a lovely aroma when added to food. mostly used in punjabi recipes and in restaurant style indian food.

  16. Ajit says

    This is the first time, I’ve tried your recipe. Substituted this recipe with whole moong dal, and different chillies. I think it may be the best tasting dal, I’ve ever had in my life. Thanks a million, Dassana. Very eager to try your chinese recipes next.

  17. sathya sree says

    your recipe presentation and process is very simple and easy tempting to try out for the readers . looks yummy and tasty.. my husband is a hardcore north indian foodie and lov to try the northy dishes and surprise him.. will try this one too and give feedback.. but jus curious to know.. cannot the onion and tomatoes be cooked seperate on a pan and dal pressure cooked seperately and added at the last..

  18. Arvind says

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for daal recipes, and over the last few weeks have been trying out your different recipes!
    I must say Dassana, this website are great! It gives foodies like me a very easy way to satiate our cravings, and the the pictorial descriptions help reduce the doubts that a novice cook might have! It re-affirms the fact that Indian cooking not rocket science, when someone shows you so clearly how to do it!
    Thanks, and great going!
    Wishing you guys all the best and looking forward to more recipes:)

    • says

      welcome arvind and big thanks for this positive feedback. reading such comments motivates me to post more recipes and i feel the effort in posting recipes is worth it. always nice to read that blog is helping people.

  19. Sujatha gopakumar says

    It is an amazing receipe.i made it for lunch with ghee rice, it went on well with it.

  20. Liz W says

    Made this tonight with matar pulao. Followed the recipe exactly (except added a bit more chillies and garlic), and skipped the pressure cooker because it scares me (did it stove-top and used an immersion blender to thicken/soften the dal once cooked) and it was absolutely fantastic. Tastes just like the dals I enjoyed while traveling in northern India earlier this year. None of the other recipes I tried taste this authentic or delish. I love all your recipes, and this is the best dal by far. Well, your makhani dal is really good too!. Many thanks! Liz

    • says

      welcome liz. glad to know that you liked the moong dal. dal makhani is very popular in north india specially in punjab, delhi etc and in road side dhabas.

  21. Bhuvana says

    Long back I had tasted some dal (at tat age, cud not identify the lentil tat was used) with chapattis in a north Indian restaurant. I was longing to cook the same combination but cud not find the recipe with moong dal. When I googled, the most of the dal recipes said, “this could be had with plain rice”. I cud not find dal for chapattis. Yday I stumbled over ur site and was so excited to find it. Tried it yday night itself and it was a damn success. My husband loved it (me too) and wanted to have it for rice too….thanq so much. By luks itself All ur recipes are sumptuous. Will keep referring .

  22. Nisana says

    Made this today and it was so good whole family like it…really thank you so much for the wonderful recipe..

  23. Khushi says

    Made this dal yesterday absolutely loved it. Could you please post a recipe for Sabut Moongi and Moth dal I tried this combination when I visited India in 2009 but haven’t been able to find a good recipe. Your help would be much appreciated. Thanks x

  24. Philip pearson says

    Thank you for such a lovely authentic recipe,could just imagine you doing it at home,after all the warnings I managed to slightly burn the spices although eatable it will not happen again,I will also be looking out for future recipes as this was super and seems to me original,although not sure about the pressure cooker bit thanks again Phil

  25. joel pope says

    This dal recipe is tip top. i love a bit of dal with my tea. imagine if rock were actually soft, but when you touched them they turned hard…that”s how i feel about dal.

  26. Srivi says

    Made ur tadka dal just now..n came out to be very very yummy…n ur veg biriyani is ultimate. .it comes out very tasty every time I make…thank u loads…

  27. Erica says

    Your pictures are beautiful and inspiring!

    Question: how long do you cook the dal in the pressure cooker? I have seen some recipes that say several whistles but that is rather confusing. I tried this and while tasty, the consistency was nothing like your picture :( I’m definitely going to try it again!

    • says

      thanks erica. since moong dal gets cooked faster than the other dals, i usually cook for about 6-7 minutes. i am just thinking this aloud because i usually don’t measure time. i measure the number of whistles. to get a smooth and well cooked consistency, i cook the dal for about 5-6 whistles on medium to full flame. if you don’t get a smooth consistency after pressure cooking, then add some water if required and pressure cook the dal again for a couple of whistles. hope this helps.

  28. kirti says

    y salt is not added during pressure cooking…though in many dals (eg dal tadka) v add it before ….vl it make much difference…?
    wanted to know cuz its difficult to remember such minute details

    • says

      if salt is when cooking dals or lentils, then they don’t become mushy and soft. they get cooked but retain their individual shape. this is good if one wants a dal recipe where the grains are visible. but for dal we need a mashable consistency, hence adding salt is not advised. salt is added once the dal is mashed or whisked.

  29. says

    Hi! Thank you so much for your amazing website, my husband and I are looking forward to trying many of these beautiful dishes. For this recipe, do you have a suggestion of how to make it without a pressure cooker? I appreciate your help!

    • says

      welcome gita. here’s the answer to your query. soak the mung lentils for 45 mins to 1 hour. drain and keep aside. heat about 4-5 cups water in a pot, when the water begins to boil, lower the flame and add all the ingredients including the lentils. cook for 30 mins or more till the lentils have become soft and cooked thoroughly. add more water if required while cooking. they should have a creamy consistency but not become pasty and lumpy when mashed. if they become lumpy then add more water and break the lumps with a spoon and simmer for a few minutes. mung lentils when overcooked become pasty and lumpy. then continue with the rest of the recipe.

      • says

        Thank you for your speedy reply and detailed information! I appreciate the time you take answering questions, I’m looking forward to making this recipe. I also just purchased a small grinder so I can grind spices for tea and other dishes. Many thanks!

  30. Amna says

    This was delicious! It was my first time making moong dal and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. My husband and I devoured it! Thanks

  31. maryam says

    Hi dassana. Is there a particular reason to not let garlIc brown? Does that change the taste?

    • says

      yes it does change the taste and flavor. if the garlic gets too browned, it can give slight bitter tones in the oil, which won’t make much of a difference in the overall dal. a slight light browning is alright.

  32. Richa says

    Made it yesterday. Everyone in my family loved it. Thank you so much for the awesome recipe

  33. Tina says

    Making this today Dassana. You are still my go to recipe guide! Can’t wait to eat it! Tina x

  34. Nandita says

    This turned out really awesome! Made it with the Karela subzi and phulkas. Will definitely be making this again!

  35. neha says

    I loved this. Made this today and it was so nice that my husband and I had it on its own, without any rice or chapati. Love…love …love it. Thanks again for yet another awesome recipe.