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Mung (Moong) Dal Recipe

by Sonia on June 30, 2010

Post image for Mung (Moong) Dal Recipe

There is a famous old proverb in Gujarati language,

“મગ ચલાવે પગ”

literally means ‘The green Mung dal keeps your legs running.”

Green mung (moong) beans are small, cylindrical, and bright green skin legumes. Mung beans is most cherished food in Ayurveda. According to ayurveda healers, this is most nutritious, while very easy to digest. Like many other legumes, the mung beans can be eaten raw when sprouted, or else eaten cooked with the skin on or off. Unlike other beans or legumes, they do not generally create abdominal gas or bloating. If you are recovering from unwell health or on diet plan, the boiled water of mung dal is very very effective. Mung beans are good source of dietary fiber and folate. They are also high in protein, magnesium, potassium and contain vitamins A, C and E, phosphorus, iron and calcium.

At my home, my mom does make it at least once in a week, mostly on Wednesday. Why Wednesday I don’t know the valid reason behind it. She prepares a delicious dal even without any onion and garlic. I didn’t add any onions here but you can add your onion-tomato gravy which we similarly prepare for Punjabi curry. I usually make our mung dal very simple way without sacrificing the nutrition values. A small bowl of cooked or sprouted mung dal with dash of lemon juice and salt is very tasty appetizer yet very healthy.

How to store: At my home back in India, we always get farm fresh mung dal from farmers or family relatives who has freshly harvested from their farms. My mom and grand-ma usually stock the mung dal for whole year. First sieve (with the bigger holes), if there is any bugs or stones. Then keep them under the sun for a day or two. And finally combine them with fine and smooth sand and store in air-tight container in cool, dry place. Yes, the sand keeps mung dal fresh for long time and help to prevent from bugs. Here in Australia, I don’t need to do this. May be it’s because of wonderful weather or something else. I simply clean and give them a sun bath then store in cool, dry place. That’s it.

You don’t need to pre-soak and can be cooked in minutes if you have a pressure cooker.

{Print Recipe}

Mung (Moong) Dal Recipe

{Serve as main with warm plain and jeera rice}. Enough for 2 people}


  • 1 C green mung beans
  • 1 big tomato, chopped
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 1 tsp red chili pwd — adjust as per your heat tolerance
  • 1 tsp coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed

Tadka/ Seasoning:

  • 1 tsp vegetable, sunflower or peanut oil + 1 tsp ghee [leave ghee out if you’re vegan]
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chili, torn
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, lightly pounded, optional but highly recommended
  • few curry leaves [optional]


  • 1 tbsp [less or more] lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

How to:

1. Clean moong dal and pick out stones if any. Rinse 2-3 times using warm water. Pressure cook with adding 2 cups of water, till soft or 6-7 whistles. (If you have any medium-size cooker, feel free to add 3-4 cups water altogether). If you find your moong dal is still uncooked or not soft, add some water (about 1 cup) and pressure cook up to 3-4 more whistles. Any legume or lentils should be cooked throughout yet retains its shape. Turn off the heat. Keep it aside for 10 mins and allow the steam to escape itself.

Without pressure cooker: With 3 cups of water and 1 cup of moong beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, partly cover, and cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beans are soft to touch and tender. It’s a bit time-consuming so I always use pressure cooker for save all energy.

2. Transfer cooked moong dal in a deep pan adding 3 cups of hot water. Bring on gas stove and cook on slow-medium heat. Season with salt, grated ginger (or use a knob of 1 inch ginger) all spice powders except garam masala. Cook it for 15-20 mins. Stir in between.

3. By this time your dal should be thickened now. To this, add the chopped tomato. You can see all spice powders have blended well. Add a little water and adjust the consistency, if your dal is very thick.

4. Prepare the tadka/seasoning. Heat ghee (if using) + oil in a small tadka pan. Add the cumin seeds, let it crackle for a second. Add the dry red chili, curry leaves and crushed garlic (if using). Sauté for few seconds, about 7-8 seconds. Your house will fill out with delicious aroma of seasoned garlic. Add to your moong dal and cover it for 2 mins.

5. Now, add the garam masala and lemon juice. Have a taste and adjust. Remove from the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves. Enjoy with plain or jeera rice.

This way, the prepared moong dal should be thicker than other kind of dals, just like a stew, so you can enjoy it own. Today/tomorrow is Wednesday so fix this moong dal in your lunch/dinner. :)

Added on 02/07/2010: My entry goes off to Siri’s July’s edition of My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), a brainchild of Susan of ‘The Well Seasoned Cook‘.

  • PJ

    Sonia, your first click is so amazing! i dont know how you manage to make moong daal look so sexy :) i should cook mung daal more often than i do, now i have a perfect recipe to make with it.

    ~ Thanks PJ! Now you have a recipe, try it now. :)

  • We love moong daal at home and look for recipes of it. So glad to have found this wonderful recipe.

    ~ It’s my pleasure, RC! :)

  • I just had yday the same daal Sonia…I don’t add lemon and add onion too..will try your version …looks so gud :)

    ~ Thanks Priti. Do try and let me know. :)

  • All time comfort food is this dhal…luv ur variation…

    ~ Sharmilee, thanks. :)

  • that looks delicious…very tempting pic..yummie!

    ~Thanks Suman. :)

  • Apu

    Love this dal!!

    ~ Me too! :)

  • kiran

    Your recipe is very nice,but I have one tip for you.Mix 1/2 cup curd with chane ka aata, add it in dal before tadka.If curd is sour than no need to add lemon juce.I hope you like this tip.

    ~ Thanks Kiran for sharing your tips. Will try next time. :)

  • Really nice photo of the dal with the tadka. Looks really tasty. When you pressure cook so much, doesn’t it make the moong to mush? Or is that what you were shooting for? I cook the moong till it is cooked but still it retains the shape. Sometimes I sprout the moong and make a dryer version. It comes out really tasty too.

    Thank you Sanjay! Nope, I don’t overcook and mushy, instead they still retains shape and texture. But I always need to cook at least 7-8 whistles with little water because I use my smallest (1.5 litre) cooker and it can’t hold sufficient water. Yes, I love sprout moong dal too and I also make it. :)

  • Lakshmi

    Your version of moong kichdi recipe looks very good. Mines usually the lazy version – pressure cook almost everything and then mix salt.
    Will try yours soon. Somehow your mung dal pictures arent showing in my PC, dont know how its supposed to look. But Ill try this for dinner tonight.

    ~ Hi Lakshmi, this is not a khichadi but dal. Try it and let me know. Good luck! :) I don’t see any problem with my blog images. It works perfectly! :)

    • Lakshmi

      I made this Mung Dal and your kadhi..came out very tasty indeed. My kids who are very picky ate their bowlfull as well. Thanks for the recipes..will be making this more often.

      ~Hi Lakshmi, I’m glad you and your kiddos did enjoy. Thanks bunch for letting me know. :)

  • Mung dal is such comfort food – tasty for all seasons. thanks for sending it along for MLLA 25.


  • Dal looks so yummy and inviting! Will try it someday :)

  • Your recipe looks really nice!!! I will try it!! I’ve never eaten Mung dal before,…I’ll search for them in some shops here in my town!
    I like your blog!!
    Greeting from Italy!!
    (I’m growing lot of chillies, some are from India, Bih Jolokia, do you know them?).

    ~ Dear Laura, a warm welcome here! Thanks for stopping by. If you love to try Indian recipes then go ahead. You can find this mung dal at Indian grocery stores or Amazon. Good luck! Thanks heaps for your sweet words for my blog. :)
    Well, I’m surprised to hear about your chilli variety from your garden. :) Yeah I know that Bih Jolokia,but never have had used it yet. This type of chillies originates from Assam, India and they can claims for outrages hotness!

  • Thanks for visiting my blog and for beautiful things you said Sonia! You have no idea how much I crave for them..Keep pouring!
    Moong dal is one of my husband’s favorite things and so you can imagine how often I have to make them, but I usually use split dal will have to try whole too. Thanx for sharing!
    About my camera.. I steal my husband’s Canon 5D whenever I can get my hands o them otherwise I have a XTI.

  • we make this often..but will have to make ur version. ur pics make this comfort food look soooo GOOD. never thought I would /could crave moong dal!!!

  • Anu

    wow.Picture perfect. I am going to make this one today(thursday) as I dont add onions or garlic.

  • I bought a bag of moong dal ages ago, intending to sprout them. Never happened! This looks like a far better destiny for my beans. Can’t go wrong with those spices.

  • Love this…its been regular in my menu….infact I was planning 2 make this for lunch 2day n ended up making baingan kadhi..:)

  • Hi, I tried your dhal yesterday. It tastes good however, i feel that there was something missing. Dont you add salt in it? I feel like its missing salt for some reason..

    • Sonia

      Hi Ameena, I have mentioned in second step to add salt to your taste. Did you forget to add in yours?

      • Oh yea you did. I missed that. I was looking more towards the ingredients when I was making. I guess if you could add it to your ingredients list that might be more helpful for someone like me who might miss things..hehe :) Thanks anyway for pointing it out. Good dhal! :)

        • Sonia

          Updated. thanks for pointing out.

  • thanks! i have added your link on my blog if thats ok ! :) loved the taste!

  • dalpat singh

    hey sonia ,
    just got hold of your recipe page at random.my late mum too did the annual storing the same way.guess this was the established storing norm accross India in yester-years.anyway first time at 60 am gonna cook .nay prepare poison for two. my life-line and me.hope the house doesn’t cry foul murder.reason is the maid’s on a chutti and i want my wife to just relax .
    god am i scared of sonias ?? one’s ruining India full time and the other’s gonna ruin my appetite.

  • Angela

    Hi. this recipe looks delicious, but when do I add the ginger?

    • Sonia

      Hi Angela, Oops! I’ve edited the recipe. Thanks for pointing out. Hope you would like Mung Dal :-)

  • Kymberly East

    I LOVE and appreciate this recipe so much. It keeps my legs running in a guilt-free, delicious, healthful way!

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