moong dal recipe, how to make moong dal tadka recipe | moong dal recipes

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moong dal tadka recipe with step by step photos – this is one of the delicious dal recipe, 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 taste very good. it has the flavors of tempered cumin, garlic, garam masala and red chili powder. once you make this delicious moong dal recipe, you are not going to hate moong dal anymore.

moong dal (skinned spilt mung gram) is amongst one of the most commonly used lentils in india. there are many recipes made from mung dal – like:

moong dal is also added in veggie dishes like suva moong dal sabzi or turai moong dal sabzi.

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 lemon 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.

if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check:

moong dal recipe card below:

4.5 from 30 votes
moong dal recipe | moong dal tadka recipe
prep time
5 mins
cook time
30 mins
total time
35 mins

moong dal tadka recipe - mung dal cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger and then tempering with cumin, garlic, green chili and some indian spice powders.

course: main course
cuisine: indian, north indian
servings: 3 to 4
author: dassana amit
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
main ingredients for moong dal recipe:
  • 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 teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 3 cups water
  • salt as required
for tempering moong dal:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 4 to 5 garlic (lahsun) - crushed lightly
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • 1 or 2 green chilli (hari mirch) - slit
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter
how to make recipe
pressure cooking moong dal:
  1. in a pressure cooker take 1 medium sized finely chopped onion, 1 medium sized chopped tomato and ½ inch finely chopped ginger.

  2. next add ⅓ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and 3 cups water to the cooker.

  3. stir well and pressure cook till the moong dal is cooked and soft.

  4. once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.

  5. if the dal looks thick, then add some water and simmer for 1-2 minutes. add salt and keep aside.

making moong dal recipe:
  1. in a small pan, heat oil or ghee or butter. first fry the cumin seeds.

  2. next add the garlic and green chili and fry for some seconds.

  3. don't brown the garlic. switch off the flame.

  4. now add the garam masala powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.

  5. switching off the flame ensures that the spice powders don't get burned.

  6. quickly stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture in the dal.

  7. stir the moong dal and serve hot moong dal with steamed rice or chapatis.

  8. the moong dal tastes better as it is and there is no need to garnish or add coriander leaves to it.

how to make moong dal recipe:

1. rinse ¾ cup of moong dal (spilt skinned mung lentils) in water.

2. measure and keep all the ingredients ready to add in the pressure cooker along with rinsed moong dal.

3. in a pressure cooker add 1 medium sized finely chopped onion, 1 medium sized chopped tomato and ½ inch finely chopped ginger. next add ⅓ teaspoon turmeric powder and ¼ teaspoon red chili powder in the cooker.

4. next add 3 cups water to the cooker.

5. stir well.

6. pressure cook till the dal is cooked and soft.

7. once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.

8. if the dal looks thick, then add some water.

8. simmer the dal for 1-2 minutes.

9. add salt as required and stir well. keep the dal aside.

10. measure and keep all the ingredients ready for tempering the moong dal.

11. in a small pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon of oil or ghee or butter.

12. first fry 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera).

13. next add 4 to 5 lightly crushed garlic cloves and 1 to 2 slit green chilies. fry for some seconds.

14. don’t brown the garlic. switch off the flame.

15. now add ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing). switching off the flame ensures that the spice powders don’t get burned.

16. quickly mix the spice powders well with a spoon.

17. immediately pour the tempering mixture in the moong dal.

18. stir the moong dal.

19. serve moong dal hot with steamed rice or chapatis. the moong dal tastes better as it is and there is no need to garnish or add coriander leaves to it.

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This post was last modified on June 5, 2018, 12:19 pm

    Categories Dal RecipesDinner RecipesNorth Indian RecipesPopular Indian RecipesVegan Recipes

View Comments (132)

  • 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.

  • 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

    • thanks. i am sure next time you will be careful when frying the spices. try frying them on a low flame and they don't get burnt.

  • 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

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

  • 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 .

    • welcome bhuvana. good to know that you liked the recipe and your search was fruitful. keep visiting.

  • 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

    • 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.

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

  • 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:)

    • 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.

  • 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..

  • 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.

    • thanks ajit for this feedback. do try the chinese recipes. they are pretty simple to make, except for the extensive chopping.

  • 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 .. :) :)

    • 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.

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

    • harini, please use google search button which is at top of the website. there are few moong dal recipes posted in the blog like halwa, dosa etc.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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:

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

    • thanks gayathri. i know many people do not like dal. but if made well, they will love it. your menu is good. agree a warm and fulfilling meal.

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

    • welcome gayathri. its a very touching comment. please feel free to ask any query on recipes. i hope i am able to help you.

  • 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

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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 !

    • welcome gary ji. your comment made us laugh. thanks for sharing positive feedback. i hope peas kachori comes out well.

  • 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 .

    • 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 :-)

  • Hi dasanna,

    All your recipes are fantastic and easy to follow. ..I simply love to try them and almost all of them hit at my place. Can you please give us the recipe of green moong dal

  • Hi Dassana,
    You are my life line. Every day I refer to your websites for recipes even though I know how to prefer a particular dish. I am a big foodie and love the way to describe each and every step and the quantities you mention are just perfect. Even my sister who prepare lovely food refers to your website. Thanks a ton for making life of many of us easier and tastier. God bless you

    • we are very pleased to know this nandini :) thankyou for your kind and encouraging words god bless you and you sister.

    • Yes you could make moong dal without the pressure cooker but that would take a longer time to cook the lentils. Hope this help's you.

  • Your recipes are really simple and the outcome really tasty. It has become an habit to refer your receipies for the regular everyday cooking too.

  • My pressure cooker doesn't have a whistle. So how many minutes should I pressure cook for? And Should I soak the beans before hand?

  • i never enjoyed dals as much I do today after following your recipes. Yes you have coming back for more and more every single time..... How do you do that !!!

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

  • Thank you so much
    I love all recipes with detailed instructions and pictures

    I really got interested after going through your recipes
    today I prepared dal tadka with allo fry it tasted yummy... my friend's too liked it.

  • Hi when I try making moong dal in pressure cooker it gets lumpy and gets thick in some time after I open the pressure cooker what to do?

    • radhika, if the moong dal gets cooked too much,, then it becomes lumpy. so cook for less time or less number of whistles. in case the dal becomes lumpy, then add some hot water and then break the lumps with a spoon or use a hand blender to do the same.

  • I used to hate moong dal, to me it always meant food for a sick tummy. But fortunately, I found this recipe and I can't thank you enough for it, Dassana. I have started preparing it frequently, sick or not.

    • cook the lentils along with the other ingredients, covered in a pan or pot. add water as required. you can soak the lentils for 30 minutes before cooking them.

  • I used this dal only to make khichdi but this recipe is awesome n nw I cook it very often thanks a lottttttttttttt.....

  • Dont have a pressure cooker, so using a pot. Dal comes out a bit hard. Even though i have soaked dal in water for many hours. Any idea ?

    • when cooking dal in a pan or pot, it does take time to cook. try soaking overnight or for atleast 4 to 5 hours. also use fresh dal. dals which are aged take a lot of time to cook and even after cooking them there is some hardness.

  • Can I use ginger & garlic paste instead of using the ginger n garlic separately? Hope I can pressure cook it

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