Whole Mung (Moong) Dal

December 22, 2006

I don’t know about you, but I’m not coping very well with the cold weather. Despite my 11 years in England, I just can’t bring myself to do very much in winter. All the festive revelries are only perpetuating the problem.

The time is right for a stodgy, warming and simple meal of dal and rice. One my favourites is made with whole mung (moong) beans. These are one of the most high-protein lentils and can be cooked with minimum fuss and ingredients. I would highly recommend soaking the lentils overnight to help make them quicker to cook and digest afterwards. This Moong dal needs little more than a bowl of steaming hot Basmati rice and some crispy papad to go with it. A complete comfort meal if there ever was one needed.

Whole moong dal 550


Feeds 3-4:

  • 125gms green mung beans with husks
  • 1″ ginger chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Quarter tsp turmeric powder
  • Quarter tsp chilli
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Green and red chilli to serve
  • Hot water


Wash the mung beans thoroughly in a sieve under a cold tap. Then place in a pot, cover with water and leave overnight to soak. This will help make it easier to cook them and digest them.

The next day when you’re ready to cook, rinse them out. Add the turmeric and two cups of hot water to the pot and bring to the boil. Boil on a medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent the dhal from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As they cook the lentils will start losing their shape and going soft. They will also go from being green to a darker shade of brown.

Keep adding a little hot water at a time to prevent the mixture from drying up. And if any foamy scum appears on the surface, skim it off and get rid of it.In 15 minutes, chop the tomato and slice the onions.

Now heat the oil on high in a frying pan and grate the ginger, reserving a slither for the garnish. Saute the onion for five minutes, then add the ginger for a minute, then the tomatoes and chilli powder and keep frying until it’s all golden and disintegrated. Stir this mixture into the lentils and add salt to taste .

Serve with julienned slivers of ginger and the chillies for an added kick.



20 Responses to “Whole Mung (Moong) Dal”

  1. Candice Says:

    January 12th, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I don’t think that the tomatoes disintegrated into the lentils

  2. Becky Says:

    December 30th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    This recipe came out pretty good. The ginger and bit of chili give it warmth without being too hot and spicy. I also like that the ingredients are things that I generally have or can get easily. I originally tried it to use up some extra moong beans I had, but now I will probably get some more and make it again.

  3. pat Says:

    July 24th, 2012 at 3:00 am

    this recipe makes me happy! I make it all the time.


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  7. Kate H Says:

    June 13th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Hi, I’ve just made this with whole mung beans which I didn’t soak over night: is that okay? The bag says that I have to always soak first….

  8. Jessica Barlow Says:

    December 4th, 2010 at 6:00 am

    My sister told me about this post and she was right on, this was really something I didn’t want to miss. Thanks for such a thoughtful write-up.

  9. Karla Says:

    January 20th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    The photo has me confused because my favorite lentil to prepare is called moong dahl but it it a pale yellow — I have been able to buy it in bulk at health food stores in NC, or prepacked by a company called Swad at Whole Foods. It seems special because it looks and tastes so light and delicate and it says it offers a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving — I always mix it with rice or millet to make it a complete protein. Is this pale yellow lentil different from what you use in your recipe?

  10. agata Says:

    April 18th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I found this recipe a week ago (I liked the simplicity of it)-got all my ingredients and a few minutes ago finished cooking. It is just delicious:) thanks Mallika

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    March 19th, 2008 at 12:14 am

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  13. Mallika Says:

    November 6th, 2007 at 2:41 am

    Hi Susan – it’s just a little over half a cup. Hope this helps!

  14. Susan Says:

    November 4th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    how many cups would make 125 grams of moong dal?

  15. zeenoo Says:

    March 1st, 2007 at 4:47 am

    thanks for such a simple recipe i tried and it was very yummy…..:)

  16. Mallika Says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Mangs! Welcome back… just as I thought you’d packed up on your whole Indian cooking thing and taken up sewing or something!!

  17. Mangs Says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    OMG its YUMMY.. and of course green… d-uh.

  18. Mangs Says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    had a long debate with halal shop man over this: green or yellow? :(

  19. Vani Says:

    December 22nd, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    That looks really, good, Mallika! I’ve never tried anything with whole moong but will do so soon! :)
    I hate winter too! It’s 5 pm now and is pitch dark here. Hate that!! Can’t wait for spring to arrive!

  20. Asha Says:

    December 22nd, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    Very delicious and nutritious dish.Thank you.

    We have 30″ snow in Denver!! Atleast it’s not blizzard there in UK!:D

    This soup is perfect for this winter weather,isn’t it?
    Enjoy! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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