Moong Daal. Moong Bean Lentils Cooked in Indian Spices

Moong daal is a very common lenil soup prepared in many Indian homes with each family having their own unique recipe depending on the region of India they are from. 


About my recipe

This moong daal recipe is one that I learnt from my Mom, and she lived all over India – for all I know this recipe is a smorgasbord of flavors from all parts of India.    She grew up in Northern India, lived in Western India after marriage, and is originally from Southern India.

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What is Moong dhal

Moong dhal is a lentil soup made with dried moong beans and spices. Dried moong beans are available in two forms – with the green skin left on or with the skin removed which turns the moong lentil a pale yellow in color. In this recipe I made my moong daal with whole dried green moong lentils.


As a dhal moon dhal tastes wonderful flavored with aromatic spices and served over rice. When I make moog daal I typically serve it with quinoa or rice along with a side of green beans or a cabbage saute.  Moong daal can also be served as a steaming bowl of soup.

Moong Daal
serves 4-6


  • 1 cup dried whole moong daal.  Cook this with 3 cups water on the stove top until the moong lentils are tender. Follow the package directions. Or use the Instapot or a pressure cooker to cook the lentils. I cooked the daal on pressure setting on the Instapot for 30 minutes.  The lentils should be super tender like soft butter.
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cups finely chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Chili powder (optional) or 1 whole red chili
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • 2 tbsp cilantro for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • In a pot heat 2-3 tbsp oil.  Add the cumin seeds and brown slightly for 5 seconds. Add asafoetida powder and mix into oil for 2-3 seconds (do not burn the spice). Next add onions and ginger and sauté until onions are translucent about 3-5minutes.
  • Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric and chili powder and fry for 2-3 seconds.  Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes for the tomatoes to become tender.
  • Next add cooked moong daal and the water it is in.  Add more water as needed to make thin the daal – about 1 cup more water. Add 1 tsp salt and chopped spinach. Cook for additional 5 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Turn the stove off.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and stir in juice of 1 lemon. Moong daal is ready.
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