Simple and comforting green moong dal made with mung beans in the Instant Pot.
This protein packed dal makes a comforting meal and pairs well with rice or any grain of choice.
I have all sorts of lentils in my pantry, that’s given since I am an Indian and also because I grew up eating dal every single day of my life.
But these days, I make a conscious effort to cook different lentils and beans each time. I mean there are so many varieties and they are all so amazing so it only makes sense to cook everything on a rotational basis.
Few days back, I received some messages on Instagram asking me to share the “less common” dal recipes. I wouldn’t say this Green Moong Dal is less common but it is definitely not made as much as say toor and chana dal.
My mom I don’t think ever made this dal. Or maybe it was so rare that I have no memories of it, I think it’s a regional thing. I belong to eastern Uttar Pradesh where dal always meant toor/arhar dal.
I make this sabut moong dal often using my Instant Pot and we really enjoy it.
This Green Moong Dal
✔is protein packed.
✔makes an easy and comforting meal.
✔makes for a nice change when you are tired of eating the same dal.
✔goes well with rice, quinoa.
The dal is cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices in the instant pot.
Once pressure cooked, it’s finally topped with a tadka of ghee, cumin and garlic.
I like doing the tadka at the end, even though it is one extra-step I feel it’s worth it.
Ingredients for The Dal
Whole Mung Beans: This dal is made with whole mung/moong beans which is also known as sabut moong dal in hindi. These are green in color and you can find them at Indian grocery stores.
In fact, I found a bag at Costco few weeks back! Yeah, my local Costco sells all sorts of lentils, I think it’s because we have a lot of Indians in the area and so they sell Indian stuff.
You can also find this dal online.
Onion-Tomatoes-Ginger: my essential for most dals. I love adding ginger, onions and tomatoes to my dal. My mom actually never added these ingredients to our everyday dal, it was usually just a tadka of cumin seeds.
I however do add few of these (if not all) often to my dals. For moong sabut especially, these ingredients really make the dal very flavorful.
There’s also garlic which I have used in the tadka.
Spices: for this dal I have used little turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. If you want more heat, you can also add some red chili powder here.
I have also used some kashmiri red chili powder in the tadka. It gives the tadka that pretty red color. It is not essential though and you may skip it.
Ghee: now, ghee really adds flavor to the dal. I don’t cook the dal in ghee, but you may very well can.
But, I use ghee for the tadka. You guys, just do it because ghee in tadka is magical!
Cilantro: of course, a handful of chopped cilantro is must in my dal.
Adds a nice aroma and flavor.
Lemon juice: some like it and some don’t like lemon juice in their dal. If you are not a fan, feel free to skip it.
I love that slight tang in my dal and hence almost always squeeze fresh lemon juice in my dals.
Soaking or No-soaking
Okay, so for this dal, I soaked the dal for 3 to 4 hours before pressure cooking it.
I like this dal extra soft, that’s how I am used to having my dal. But it’s not necessary. Here are my suggestions for soaking and the respective pressure cooking times.
Soak 3-4 hours and pressure cook for 15 minutes with natural pressure release -> this results in very soft dal which I prefer and it is what I have also used in the recipe.
Soak 3-4 hours and pressure cook for 10 minutes with natural pressure release -> this will result in a bit firmer dal.
No soaking the dal -> pressure cook for 20 minutes with natural pressure release. The dal will not be as soft but will be cooked through.
Make it vegan: It’s very simple to make this dal vegan.
Just use oil or vegan butter in the tadka in place of ghee. The rest is vegan.
I like eating this dal as a soup. A bowl of this with a crusty bread- that’s what I had for dinner when I made this dal.
And of course the classic way is to pair it with rice or quinoa. That makes a very comforting meal.
1- Before you start soak the moong dal for 3 to 4 hours in 2 to 3 cups water.
2- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot add the oil and then add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for few seconds.
3- Then add the chopped onion, ginger and green chili and cook for 2 minutes until onions are softened.
4- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir and then add the spices- turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Also, add the salt and mix everything.
5- Drain the water in which the dal was soaked and then add the dal to the Instant Pot.
6- Add 3 cups water now and mix.
7- Close the Instant Pot with lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. This will result in a very soft dal.
If you don’t like the dal to be very soft, then cook for 10 minutes only. If you haven’t soaked the dal, then pressure cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
8- Open the lid and give the dal a stir. Add in the chopped cilantro and squeeze in lemon juice.
9- For the tadka, heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a small pan. Once the ghee is hot, add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
10 & 11- Then add hing and then garlic. Cook until the garlic starts changing color.
12- Add kashmiri red chili powder, mix with a spoon and then remove pan from heat.
Pour tadka over dal and serve green moong dal with rice or quinoa.
Green Moong Dal
- 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used avocado oil
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 inch ginger chopped
- 1 green chili chopped, I used thai chili
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 cup whole green mung beans sabut moong dal, 210 grams
- 3 cups water 24 oz
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro plus more to garnish
- 1/2 lemon juice of
- 2 teaspoons ghee 10 ml
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida
- 2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder for color (it's not very hot)
- Before you start soak the moong dal for 3 to 4 hours in 2 to 3 cups water. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot add the oil and then add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for few seconds.
- Then add the chopped onion, ginger and green chili and cook for 2 minutes until onions are softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir and then add the spices- turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Also, add the salt and mix everything.
- Drain the water in which the dal was soaked and then add the dal to the Instant Pot.Add 3 cups water now and mix.
- Close the Instant Pot with lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. This will result in a very soft dal.If you don't like the dal to be very soft, then cook for 10 minutes only. If you haven't soaked the dal, then pressure cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid and give the dal a stir. Add in the chopped cilantro and squeeze in lemon juice.
- For the tadka, heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a small pan. Once the ghee is hot, add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them sizzle and then add hing.
- Add sliced garlic and cook until the garlic starts changing color. Add kashmiri red chili powder, mix with a spoon and then remove pan from heat.
- Pour tadka over dal and serve green moong dal with rice or quinoa.
Stove-Top Pressure Cooker Instructions
- Follow all the steps as it is and then pressure cook for 10 to 12 whistles on medium-high heat. Let the pressure release naturally. Then make the tadka in a pan and pour over.
Stove-Top Pan Instructions
- If you don't have a pressure cooker and want to make this dal, I would suggest first soaking the dal overnight. Then follow all the steps as it is until adding the lentils. Add the lentils, water and then cook for around 30 minutes uncovered on medium heat until lentils are soft and done. Cook them to consistency you prefer. You may need to adjust the amount of water here as water will evaporate when cooking in an open pot compared to a pressure cooker. Make the tadka as usual and pour over cooked dal.
- Skip hing to make this gluten-free or you can use gluten-free hing.
- Use oil in place of ghee in the tadka to make this dal vegan.
- If you don't soak the dal, cook for 20 minutes on high pressure. Soaking for 3-4 hours and then cooking on high pressure for 15 minutes results in a very soft dal which I like but if you don't then don't soak the dal or if you have soaked for couple of hours, cook for 10 minutes only.