I am so pleased to share with you the next recipe in my new series: Monica’s Indian Express: Simple & Sassy Weeknight Dishes.

Monica’s Simple Moong Dal

This is our weeknight staple. This simple dal tastes good as a side, atop steamed rice or even thinned out as a soup. It also freezes well. This recipe is adapted from Monica Bhide’s The Everything Indian Cookbook (Adams Media 2004).

Makes 4 servings

1 cup yellow moong dal (split yellow mung bean)*

4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric*

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small red onion, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 green serrano chili (or jalapeno), seeded and minced

1 small tomato, finely chopped

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (optional)

Pick through the dal and remove any debris. Rinse the dal thoroughly under running water in a fine-mesh sieve. Drain thoroughly.

In a deep saucepan, bring water, turmeric and 1 tablespoon of oil to a boil over high heat. Add dal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dal is very soft. If the water starts to dry up, add another 1/2 cup water. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and when they begin to sizzle, add onion. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes, until onions are well browned.

Add ginger, chilies and tomato. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 8 minutes or until tomato is soft.

Add salt to taste and cilantro and mix well. Add onion mixture to the dal and mix well. Reheat the dalgently and serve hot.

*Available at Indian grocery stores

Photo was taken by the lovely Reem Rizvi of SimplyReem.com. Very grateful to her for her help.

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  1. Oh, what a wonderful meal, Monica! Shared it on my gfe Facebook page. I love it whenever I can share your naturally gluten-free recipes there. 🙂


  2. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! The family is still new to Indian food and this was a great starting place to help develop the taste palates. I cut back on the serrano for the kids but think I could do a little more next time. Hearty and mild, so easy to prepare that I look forward to making it again soon!

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