Editor's Note: Moong dhal, also sometimes written as "mung dal," is a popular Indian dish made with a type of yellow bean that's a member of the lentil family. This My Dhal lentil recipe has a comforting yet exotic flavor that makes for a great introduction to Indian food—it's mild yet bursting with flavors and spices that will transport you to another world. It's delicious on its own, or serve over rice for a more filling dish. If you're looking for an easy way to add some excitement to your weeknight dinners, this moong dhal recipe is just the thing.
Depending upon how sloppy or thick you like your dhal, I have given a flexible amount of water to play with. At any time during the cooking process, more water may be added, but it is best that you use hot water from a boiled kettle—to keep the temperature even during cooking. Although it is not essential to soak the moong dhal, I think it cooks more consistently if it is presoaked.
Serves2 to 3
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationDiabetic, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, High Fiber, Kosher, Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureCreamy, Savory, Spiced, Tangy
- 1½ cups moong dhal, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 to 6 cups water
- 1/3 cup oil or ghee
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 1 onion, peeled and minced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, and crushed
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- Coarsely chopped cilantro, to finish (optional)
Drain the soaked moong dhal, place in a cooking pot or heavy-bottomed pan, add the turmeric, and pour on the 4 cups water; do not add salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about an hour until tender, adding more water as necessary (see above headnote).
In a separate pan, heat the oil until hot. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and briefly fry until popping. Tip in the onion and garlic and fry until a rich golden color. Add to the dhal and stir in.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the tomatoes, carrot, and coconut milk. Simmer all together very gently for about 20 minutes, until the carrot is thoroughly cooked through. Serve in warmed bowls, with some chopped cilantro sprinkled on top, if you like.
2009 Simon Hopkinson