Moong ki Dal Recipe | Whole Green Mung Bean Recipe

I did not write a single recipe down and bring with me – nor from my mom, neither from my mother-in-law, when I moved to US.  I don’t know what I was thinking at that time.  May be depended too much on internet and phone, but overlooked the time zone differences when I had to call at the time of need.  So November last year I asked my mom to e-mail me recipes using Moong Dal because I was bored of (until I started adding variety to it) eating the same Toor Dal and Chana Dal (yellow lentils) every day.
Sabut Moong ki Dal
And then, I was almost teary-eyed when I read mom’s e-mail, because even between a 1 teaspoon of this and a grinding of that, I could see the love with which she took the pain to type it all out.  Because I then remembered how - many years back - I used to lose patience earlier and get annoyed why it took her one minute to search one alphabet on the keyboard. 

My mom, many years back not so skilled at typing, internet-surfing, chatting, or e-mailing, wrote me three recipes using Moong Dal: 1) savory moong dal, cooked with onion and tomato; 2) my favorite moong dal, with ghee and sugar; and 3) cooking with sprouted moong.
green gram or whole green mung bean with onions and tomatoes

I’m sharing the first one with you here today: Moong Ki Dal.  The sabut moong dal used here is also known as green gram or whole green mung bean.

This green color whole mung dal is different from the yellow color skinless mung dal used for Stuffed Moong Dal Paratha.

moong dal and rice

What you need for Moong Ki Dal
Serves 4

1 cup whole green mung bean (sabut moong dal)
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1 tsp ginger paste or grated ginger (adrak)
2 tsp oil/ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 pinch asafoetida (heeng)
1 cup chopped onion (pyaaz)
1 cup tomato (tamatar) puree/paste (grind 1-2 tomatoes until fine)
1 tsp red chili (lal mirch) powder*
¼ tsp garam masala [optional]
1 tsp salt*
½ tsp sugar*

* adjust all these quantities to your taste. I personally like it spicy with strong garlicky flavor.

Let’s Begin!
1.  Rinse the whole mung bean few times and choose to either soak in water for 20 minutes to 2 hours, or use right away.  Add the 1 cup rinsed mung bean + turmeric + ginger + 3 cups water in pressure cooker.  Cook on medium heat till about 3-4 whistles.  Should take about 20-25 minutes, depends.  Then switch off heat and let the steam release completely before opening the pressure cooker.  The green mung bean does not expand after soaking the way other lentils do, but exactly doubles in volume and turns brown after pressure cooking.  {Click here to learn more on how to cook dal in pressure cooker}
Whole green mung dal - before and after pressure cooking
2.  While the dal pressure cooks, now’s a good time to chop and grind your veggies if you hadn’t before.  Then heat oil in a medium wide pan on medium heat, add asafoetida + cumin seeds, let seeds pop, then add onion, sauté for a minute, add garlic + green chili, sauté till onion turns golden-brown.  Add tomato puree/paste + red chili powder + coriander-cumin powder and cook for 3-4 minutes until it changes color and looks done.  Keep stirring.  Add garam masala (if using) + salt + sugar and mix.  As you can see, I used the frozen tomato puree/paste (at home) – in times of rush, it’s very handy.

3.  If you time your dal and veggies, then adding the dal to the just-done onion-tomato mixture would be a good idea.  Otherwise switch off heat and keep the mixture aside until use.  I like a little thick and creamy moong dal, so I don’t add additional water.  But if you want, add desired amount of water to the mixture and heat up when ready.  Once it comes to a boil, add dal to the pan and mix.  I like to see whole moong instead of mashed moong, so I mix gently but until well combined.  That’s why all the spices, water, everything else were added earlier so that the moong dal does not get mashed.

Your Moong ki Dal is now ready to eat with roti and rice.

creamy whole green mung bean lentils - sabut moong ki dal
Now that my mom has become more computer-savvy after chatting with me online everyday since a year, last week I asked her to send me more recipes of food she makes (because I was missing that taste and want to cook like her), and she replied "search on internet".  Gosh, what has happened to all the motherly love these days?!  :D


  1. You are responsible to make mom computer geek.

    Moong ki dal looks delicious.I haven't tried making them with tomato. We make it with coconut sauce and great for our famous breakfast dish Puttu.

    1. Hahaha, my brother says the same thing :D

      Hmm, never tried. Swathi, please post moong dal in coconut sauce recipe some day!

  2. HAHAHA!! Your mum is the GenNext of Computer world :D Awesome recipe! My mom makes a similar sabzi. But she soaks the moong for a whole night. The tiny sprouted mung beans are apparently more healthy!

    1. lol, my bro said now mom uses laptop more than he does :D

      you're right, the sprouted ones are definitely healthier. my hubby eats them raw. i just can't! :-/

  3. I know what you mean about getting bored of the same dals! So now, at any given point, my pantry is stocked up with at least 5 types of dals:)

    1. hehe! same here. last year after i was literally frustrated eating the yellow dals, i bought every possible packet of dal from the Indian store! (though i haven't used most of them so far... still in the comfort zone) :P

  4. Wat a super tempting and inviting dish,seriously can have it anytime.

  5. Loved the delicious and healthy moong daal recipe of your mom:)you have done it perfectly! check out my blog for a whole moong daal recipe..may be you will like it.

    1. Thanks Anjana, will check out right away!

  6. thats so sweet. i got my mom hooked to the machine when she visited here first.. now she has 2 laptops there and also an iphone, so if something isnt working, she gets onine on the iphone and calls me on skype to troubleshoot;)

    love that daal. thick and delicious!

    1. Oh boy, my mom hasn't reached that advanced level yet. The last thing she asked me was how to make all those smiley emoticons :D :D

      Thanks! :)

  7. how touching. i can totally relate.. i need to teach my mom how to use the internet, but i get frustrated so quick. your post inspired me to do so. Great recipe, i too only cook toor and chana dal, I don't really know the other dals. I love maa chane ki dal, that is punjabi and i need to get that recipe from my mom. :-)

  8. This looks delicious. We make moong dal with coconut which is my favourite. I would love to try this version it's tempting.

  9. Tried this today. Never thought Moog dal will taste good as dal too. I have always used it in Dosa.

  10. hi thanks for the tip on whether to saok whole green moong prior to cooking.
    i too wish i had picked up cooking from my mom who is an amazing cook.
    but now that i'm a mom myself i find that i am taking an interest in learning new recipes and trying out things on my own.
    of course i still skype my mom and shes always very happy to tell me how to cook this or that...provided she doesnt have to type it out...seems she's too busy on farmville !!
    thanks again...will check out some of your other recipes
    cheers :)

  11. Thanks .I am going for it .I am sure it will taste wonderful.

  12. Thank you! I made this tonight and it is wonderful.Your story about mom typing was very poignant. I am so glad I found this!


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