easy moong dal

moong dal with naan

The hubs and I love Indian food but haven’t been the most successful or adventurous when it comes to cooking it ourselves. So far our repertoire consists of homemade naan, tandoori chicken and aloo gobi (I haven’t posted this recipe yet because I’m not very happy with it – it’s edible but not yummy). This was our first attempt at dal. We decided (literally) on a whim we were going to have Indian food for dinner and spent the next 1.5 hours whipping up this dal, homemade naan and sweet lassi. The homemade naan was a quick recipe that yielded decent naan but it isn’t as good as the recipe I posted in the past.

I was very happy with how this dal turned out. It was very flavorful and delicious and went great with the naan. I decided to make a double batch the next day and freeze it for lunch meals the following week.

There are many types of dal and this recipe uses moong dal. Click here to view a picture of moong dal. You should be able to find the moong dal at your local Indian grocer. If an Indian grocer is hard to come by in your area, check online.

Easy Moong Dal

(taken and adapted from here)



  •  3/4 cup moong dal/spilt skinned mung lentils
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped OR 1/2 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or lal mirch powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt, to taste


  •  1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 or 2 green chillies cut into medium size pieces (you can choose to remove the seeds if you would like less heat)
  • A pinch of asafoetida/hing OR 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder + 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil or ghee or butter


  1. Combine all the ingredients from (A), except the salt and bring to boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to a high simmer and cook until the dal is cooked (soft and tender), about 40 minutes. If the dal gets too thick, you can add some water.
  2. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. To prepare the ingredients from (B): In a small pan, heat oil or ghee or butter and fry the cumin seeds.
  4. Next, add the garlic and green chilies and saute for about a minute. Be careful not to brown the garlic.
  5. Switch off the flame and add the garam masala powder, red chili powder and asafoetida (or onion and garlic powder). Switching off the flame ensures that the spice powders don’t get burned.
  6. Stir and immediately pour (B) into the cooked dal.
  7. Stir the moong dal and serve hot moong dal with steamed rice, chapatis or naan.

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