Moong Dal (skinned split mung gram) is amongst one of the most commonly used lentils in India. There are many recipes made with it. In this post I am sharing 2 popular moong dal recipes.
- Moong Dal Tadka
- Moong Dal Fry
Both the recipes are easy, popular and taste good. You can make either of them.
What is Moong Dal
Mung beans are called as Moong Dal in India. Mung beans also know green gram or moong. In the Indian Cuisine, both the whole lentils and the split ones are used.
The whole mung beans have a green color and when they are husks are removed, you see the yellow color of the beans.
Mung beans are a staple in the Indian cuisine. We make a variety of dishes with it from stews, soups to sweet dishes.
According to ayurveda, Moong dal is tridoshic meaning it balances all the three doshas which are kapha, vata and pitta.
Moong lentils are highly nutritious and easy to digest. They are light on the stomach if cooked in a simple & minimal way, thereby making these an excellent food for small kids and convalescing people. In Ayurvedic diets or in detox diets, moong dal is a recommended lentil.
Difference between Dal Tadka & Dal Fry
Though both dal tadka and dal fry may look same, the preparation and the final taste of each dish is different.
- Dal Fry is made by cooking the lentils in a pan or pressure cooker. Onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices are sautéed in some oil and ghee. To this sautéed mixture the cooked dal is added and further simmered.
- Dal Tadka is made by cooking the lentils with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Spices like cumin, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and herbs like garlic or coriander leaves or curry leaves are fried in oil or ghee. This fried mixture of the hot oil with the spices and herbs are then added to the cooked dal.
- Variations: Of course with both the preparations, you can always change the core ingredients (apart from the lentils) including the spices and herbs. Plenty of variations are possible in both dal tadka as well as dal fry recipes.
About This Moong Dal Tadka Recipe
This is one of the delicious vegan dal, I make with yellow mung lentils which have been husked and are split.
Some people don’t like moong dal as it is a little bland. But trust me this punjabi 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.
This Moong Dal Tadka is extremely good with some steamed basmati rice accompanied by a side vegetable dish or raita. Have some roasted papad and lemon or mango pickle also by the side. A truly comfort and satisfying meal.
I paired the moong dal tadka with some steamed sona masoori rice and aloo methi.
Some More Mung Dal Recipes
- Cabbage Kootu – tasty South Indian style recipe of cabbage and moong lentils with coconut and spices.
- Yellow Moong Dal Fry – easy to make delicious dal with mung lentils, onions, tomatoes and spices.
- Dhansak Recipe – a vegetable and lentil preparation from the Parsi cuisine.
- Parippu Curry – a delicious moong dal curry made with coconut and spices.
- Green Moong Dal – homely recipe of dal made with whole green moong beans.
How to make Moong Dal Tadka
1. Rinse ½ cup of moong dal (split husked mung lentils) in water.
2. 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.
3. Next add 1.5 cups water to the cooker. Stir well.
Pressure cooking moong dal
4. Pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles on medium flame till the dal is cooked and soft. Once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.
5. If the dal looks thick, then add some water.
6. Simmer the moong dal for 1 to 2 minutes or more till you get the right consistency.
7. Add salt as required and stir well. Keep the dal aside.
Tempering for Moong Dal
8. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for tempering. In a small pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil or ghee or butter.
9. First fry 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. The cumin seeds should change color and crackle. Fry on a low to medium-low heat so that the spices do not get burnt.
10. Next add 4 to 5 lightly crushed garlic cloves and 1 to 2 slit green chilies. Fry for some seconds. Don’t brown the garlic. Switch off the flame.
11. 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.
12. Quickly mix the spice powders well with a spoon.
13. Immediately pour the tempering mixture in the moong dal.
14. Stir the moong dal.
15. Serve Moong Dal Tadka 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. But if you want you can always garnish with some coriander leaves. For a slight tang you can also squeeze some lemon juice.
This recipe post is from the archives (May 2013) and has been republished and updated on 5 June 2020.
Moong Dal Tadka
- ½ cup moong dal (split skinned mung lentils)
- 1 medium sized / ⅓ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 medium size tomato - chopped
- ½ inch ginger (adrak) - finely chopped or grated
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅓ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 1.5 cups water
- salt as required
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 to 5 small to medium-sized garlic - crushed lightly
- ¼ or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 or 2 green chilli - slit
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing) - optional
- 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter
Pressure Cooking Moong Dal
- In a pressure cooker take the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and finely chopped ginger. Also add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and water to the cooker. Mix well.
- Pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles on medium flame till the moong lentils are softened well. Once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.
- If the dal looks thick, then add some water and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt. Mix very well and keep aside. Check the taste and if required you can add more salt.
Making Moong Dal Tadka
- In a small pan, heat oil or ghee or butter. First fry the cumin seeds.
- Next add the garlic and green chili and fry for some seconds. Don't brown the garlic. Switch off the flame.
- Now add the garam masala powder, red chili powder and asafoetida. Switching off the flame earlier ensures that the spice powders don't get burned.
- Quickly stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture in the dal.
- Stir the dal and serve hot moong dal with steamed rice or chapatis.
- The moong dal tadka tastes better as it is and there is no need to garnish or add coriander leaves to it. But if you want you can always garnish with some coriander leaves. For a slight tang you can also squeeze some lemon juice.
- Soaking: You can soak the lentils for 20 to 30 minutes and this will speed up the cooking time.
- Green Chillies: You can use serrano peppers instead of the Indian green chillies. You can even replace the green chillies with dried red chillies.
- Consistency: You can have a thick or medium or thin consistency of the dal by adding less water or more water later.
- Asafoetida: If you do not have asafoetida, skip it.
- Spicing: You can decrease or increase the herbs & spices like red chilli powder, green chillies, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds according to your preferences. But do not increase the amount of turmeric powder.
Nutrition Info (approximate values)
About Moong Dal Fry
This is a quick and easy Punjabi recipe of delicious moong dal fry at home which I often make. I make a variety of lentils on a daily basis and mung dal happens to be one of them.
In this Moong dal fry recipe, the mung lentils are cooked first. Then a sautéed mixture of onions, tomatoes and spices is added to the cooked mung lentils which is then simmered for some more minutes. The end result is a smooth creamy moong dal.
Legumes or dal are a staple in the Indian Cuisine and there are so many ways of making them. In the Indian Cuisine, you will find many variations of dal – from the simplest basic version made with minimal ingredients to spicy or rich versions made with many ingredients.
Each Indian state has their own versions of a dal tadka or dal fry. In the state itself, the versions keep on changing in some cities or towns.
You can serve the moong dal fry with Indian flat breads like roti, paratha or with cumin rice or steamed basmati rice.
How to make Moong Dal Fry
1. Firstly pick and rinse 1 cup moong dal (split and husked mung lentils). You can also rinse the mung lentils in a colander.
2. Then add the mung lentils in the pressure cooker along with 2.5 cups of water. Now add 1 pinch of turmeric powder.
3. Stir and mix very well.
4. Pressure cook the lentils for 3 to 4 whistles or till the lentils are soft and mushy.
5. Mash the lentils with a spoon.
6. Add 1 cup water or as required, to get the desired consistency.
7. Add salt as required and stir well.
8. On a low flame, keep the dal to simmer.
Making moong dal fry
9. Meanwhile, measure and keep all the ingredients ready. In a kadai or pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil along with ½ tablespoon butter.
10. Crackle 1 teaspoon cumin seeds first.
11. Then add 1 medium sized chopped onion. Sauté the onions till light brown.
12. Then add ½ inch chopped ginger, 3 to 4 chopped garlic, 1 green chili & 1 dry red chili. Saute for half a minute.
13. Add 1 medium sized tomato which has been chopped. Saute till the tomatoes soften.
14. Then add ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir well.
15. Then add ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves.
16. Stir and continue to saute till oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.
17. Continue to saute for 1-2 minutes more after oil has started to leave the sides.
18. Add this mixture to the simmering dal.
19. Stir and simmer the dal for 2-3 minutes or more. You have to simmer till the flavors have blended well in the moong dal and you get the desired consistency.
20. If you prefer you can add a few drops of lemon juice.
21. Mix well. Taste the dal and add salt if required. Switch off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.
22. Serve Moong Dal Fry with steamed rice, cumin rice or with Indian flatbreads like roti, paratha or naan.
Moong Dal Fry
For cooking moong dal
- ½ cup split and husked mung lentils (yellow moong dal)
- 1.5 cups water for pressure cooking * check notes on cooking the lentils in a pot
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 cup water - to be added later when the dal is simmering or add as the consistency required
- 1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
- 1 medium sized tomato - finely chopped
- 1 green chili - slit or chopped
- 1 dry red chili
- ½ inch ginger - finely chopped
- 3 to 4 garlic - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (crushed kasuri methi)
- 2 tablespoon oil + ½ tbsp butter
Cooking Moong Dal
- Pick and rinse the mung lentils first.
- Then add the lentils in the pressure cooker along with water and turmeric powder.
- Stir and pressure cook the lentils for 3 to 4 whistles till the dal is soft and mushy.
- Mash the moong dal with a spoon.
- Stir in some salt and add water as required to get the desired consistency. Keep the dal to simmer on a low flame.
Making Yellow Moong Dal Fry
- Heat oil along with the butter. Crackle the cumin seeds first.
- Add onions and fry till light brown.
- Now add the ginger, garlic, green chilies & dry red chili. Saute for half a minute.
- Add the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes soften.
- Add all the red chili powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, kasuri methi and coriander leaves.
- Stir and continue to saute till oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.
- Continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes more after oil has started to leave the sides.
- Add this mixture to the simmering dal.
- Stir and simmer the dal for 2 to 3 minutes or more till the flavors have well blended in the dal and till you get the desired consistency.
- If you prefer you can add a few drops of lemon juice to the dal.
- Serve Moong Dal Fry garnished with coriander leaves with steamed rice, cumin rice or even chapatis.
- Soak the lentils in water for about 30 to 40 minutes. Then drain them and add in a pot.
- Add about 2 cups of water. Cover and let the lentils cook till done.
- If the mung lentils begin to froth, then remove the scum and continue to cook without a lid or the lid partly covered.
- You can also add a few drops of oil to reduce the frothing.