Basic Moong Dal Tadka
Updated: Jul 30
This is a basic moong dal tadka recipe, with a simple, flavourful tadka (tempering) for the ones new to cooking. I will follow this up with some more tadka dal recipes for variations.
Dhuli moong dal (or petite yellow lentils) on its own is bland, so the use of ghee and aromatics is important here to add flavour. You could also add onions and tomatoes to the tadka, a recipe that I will share soon.
Easy to digest, dhuli moong dal makes for a simple, satiating, everyday meal. Pair moong dal tadka with steamed rice for the perfect comfort food Dal Chawal. Moong dal tadka also goes well with chapatis or ajwain parathas (yummm) with a side of Indian veggies of choice. Add papad, pickles and raita for a complete simple Indian meal experience.
High in protein, low in calories, dhuli moong dal is prepared commonly in Indian kitchens given its high nutrient content. Bonus: soaked moong dal tadka cooks quick and is ready literally within minutes.
If you choose to pressure cook the soaked moong dal, you would need lesser water – say 2 cups. I prefer to cook it in a thick bottom pot, for which I add another cup of water and a little more cooking time ofcourse. The trick is to cook the moong dal enough for it to be cooked right to the centre, not al-dente yet NOT mushy. Soaking the moong dal plays an important role here.
Soaking: 30 minutes
Pressure cooking: 10 minutes
Open pan cooking: 15-20 minutes (for soaked moong dal)
Ingredients to make Moong Dal Tadka
1 cup dhuli moong dal (yellow moong dal / petite yellow lentils)
2-3 cups water (depending on cooking method)
2 green chillies, slit in the middle
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
For the tadka (tempering)
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
6-7 garlic cloves – thin sliced or finely chopped
Method of making Moong Dal Tadka
Wash the moong dal well and soak in enough water for approx. 30 minutes.
Pot cooking the moong dal:
Drain the dhuli moong dal and place in a thick bottom pot with 3 cups of water, turmeric powder, green chillies and salt. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook till the dal is done – approx. 15 minutes. Add more water, if required – depending on how thick or thin you like your dal.
* You could add green chillies to the tadka instead of adding it while cooking the moong dal.
Pressure cooking the moong dal:
Drain the dhuli moong dal and pressure cook with 2 cups of water, turmeric powder, green chillies and salt for 1 whistle and leave aside for some time allowing the steam to settle. Then, check for consistency of moong dal and add more water, if required – depending on how thick or thin you like your dal. If you add more water, bring the moong dal to a gentle boil again.
* Again, you could add green chillies to the tadka instead of adding it while cooking the moong dal.
Tadka / tempering the moong dal:
In a tadka pan, heat ghee and add jeera. Once the jeera crackles, add the sliced garlic. Once the garlic is golden carefully add the tadka to the moong dal.
Note: this moong dal tadka recipe tastes best if the tempering is left in the dal for flavours to meddle.
Garnish moong dal tadka with coriander leaves. I like to add a good squeeze of lime to my bowl of moong dal tadka for flavour.
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