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

Moong dal 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 recipe

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:

  • Cabbage kootu –  tasty South Indian style recipe of cabbage and moong lentils with coconut and spices.
  • Moong dal fry – easy to make delicious dal fry 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.

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.

How to make moong dal recipe

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

making moong dal recipe

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

making moong dal recipe

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.

making moong dal recipe

4. Next add 3 cups water to the cooker.

making moong dal recipe

5. Stir well.

making moong dal recipe

Pressure cooking moong dal

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

making moong dal recipe

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

making moong dal recipe

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

making moong dal recipe

9. Simmer the moong dal for 1-2 minutes.

making moong dal recipe

10. Add salt as required and stir well. Keep the dal aside.

making moong dal recipe

Tempering for moong dal

11. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for tempering the moong dal.

making moong dal recipe

12. In a small pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon of oil or ghee or butter.

making moong dal recipe

13. First fry 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera).

making moong dal recipe

14. Next add 4 to 5 lightly crushed garlic cloves and 1 to 2 slit green chilies. Fry for some seconds.

making moong dal recipe

15. Don’t brown the garlic. Switch off the flame.

making moong dal recipe

16. 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.

making moong dal recipe

17. Quickly mix the spice powders well with a spoon.

making moong dal recipe

18. Immediately pour the tempering mixture in the moong dal.

making moong dal recipe

19. Stir the moong dal.

moong dal recipe

20. 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.

moong dal recipe

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEmany of my recipes have step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Moong Dal

4.81 from 47 votes
Moong dal tadka - mung dal cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger and then tempered with cumin, garlic, green chili, and some Indian spice powders.
moong dal recipe, moong dal tadka recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:35 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:indian,north indian
Servings (change the number to scale):3 to 4
(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 teaspoon red chili powder
  • teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • salt as required

for tempering

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 to 5 garlic - crushed lightly
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 or 2 green chilli - slit
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter


pressure cooking moong dal

  • In a pressure cooker take 1 medium sized finely chopped onion, 1 medium sized chopped tomato and ½ inch finely chopped ginger.
  • Next add ⅓ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and 3 cups water to the cooker.
  • Stir well and pressure cook till the moong dal is cooked and soft.
  • 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 and keep aside.

making moong dal

  • 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 ensures that the spice powders don't get burned.
  • Quickly stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture in the dal.
  • Stir the moong dal and serve hot moong dal 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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Dassana Amit

[avatar]namaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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136 comments/reviews

  1. 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!

    • welcome mira. thanks for your encouraging feedback.

  2. Thanks for such tasty! Recipe my husband and my in-law like it most5 stars

    • welcome and thanks for sharing your review.

  3. 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.

    • thanks nancy for sharing this sweet feedback on moong dal tadka. glad to know this.

  4. Dassana thank you for another great dal recipe.5 stars

    • welcome urszula

  5. 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.

  6. 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 bless5 stars

    • welcome shreeja. glad to know this. thanks for sharing your sweet feedback and blessings.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.5 stars

    • 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!

        • amber, i will see if i can get zucchini here and will try the recipe.

  11. Kindly send ideas of Moongdal and allied food dishes5 stars

    • 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.

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

    • thanks shweta.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.5 stars

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

  15. 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..5 stars

  16. 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:)5 stars

    • 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.

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

    • thanks sujatha

  18. 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! Liz5 stars

    • 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.

  19. 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.

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

    • welcome nisana

    • Made this last night for dinner. It was wonderful, restaurant style! So easy too. Thank you so much for this great recipe. Going to try the tawa paneer next!

      • welcome janet. nice to know that you liked the dal recipe.

  21. 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

    • will add these recipes khushi.

  22. 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 Phil5 stars

    • 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Wowowo tried this dal just turned out yummmmm…. 😉 tanks for the recipe5 stars

    • welcome andy

  25. 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…

    • welcome srivi. nice to know that you liked moong dal tadka and biryani recipe.

  26. 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!

    • 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.

  27. Awesome recipe. I tried this today. My favorite recipe is Daal Chawal. Thankyou dassana5 stars

    • welcome vishal

  28. 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

    • 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. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • you are welcome, gita

  30. 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

    • thanks amna

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

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

    • thanks richa

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

    • thanks tina. hope the recipe was good.

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

    • thanks nandita for the feedback.

  35. 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.5 stars

    • thanks neha for sharing the positive feedback on moong dal.