International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Moong Dal

Mung beans

(Indian simmered mung beans)

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Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

This is a basic recipe for a simple, simmered dal. It will work substituting a variety of lentils and split peas for the moong dal. Serve as a side side dish to an Indian meal.

Moong dal is often eaten as a breakfast dish in southern India along with rice porridge. Also spelled mung dal.

4 to 6 servings


  • Ghee or oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Cuminseed -- 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
  • Onion, thinly sliced -- 1
  • Moong dal (mung beans) -- 1 cup
  • Water -- 4 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional) -- 1/2 bunch


  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the cuminseed and turmeric and sauté briefly until fragrant and the cuminseeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and sauté until wilted and beginning to brown.
  2. Add the moong dal and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the dal is tender yet still firm, 35 to 45 minutes. Add more water as necessary to keep beans just covered.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the desired tenderness is reached.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Dal Variations

  • Try using other dal for this recipe: toor dal, masoor dal, urad dal. Cooking times will vary.
  • Add chopped hot chilies or a pinch of cayenne pepper for some added heat.
  • Other possible additions: 1 to 2 teaspoons minced gingerroot; 3 or 4 curry leaves; a pinch of asafoetida (hing) powder; 1 cup of chopped tomatoes; 1 bunch of chopped spinach; a peeled and chopped pumpkin. Use your imagination.
  • A little tamarind water (made by mashing tamarind pulp with water and straining) or amchoor (green mango powder) is sometimes added to impart a sour flavor. You can substitute a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • The beans can be lightly mashed before serving if you like.


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