Stovetop: Punjabi Split Moong Dal

May 14, 2020 2 Comments

Stovetop: Punjabi Split Moong Dal - Indian As Apple Pie

And, no smarty pants. I do not mean with a spoon. Making Indian food is one thing. Knowing how to piece it together into a delicious multi-layered masterpiece is another. Just look at that mouth-watering photo above. My website and recipes are here to help. First, though, let me address split and skinned moong dal or duhli moong. Whenever you see the word duhli on packaging, it indicates a legume is 'washed' - no skin and usually split. Duhli moong, or yellow moong, comes from the whole green moong bean. But, when the skin is taken off and it is split in half it looks yellow like this. Chances are, if you are newer to Indian cuisine, you have yet to come across this form of moong. It's not readily available in mainstream grocers. Why many non-Indian bloggers that dabble in Indian cuisine don't make it or showcase it. And, precisely why I included it among our product offerings. It was important for me to get this story out there. In our Punjabi culture, this is hands down the most commonly eaten dal. My father-in-law was notorious for wanting his moong dal every Monday night without fail. It's not only fast-cooking, but it's also very easy to digest, which makes it perfect over basmati rice with a simple onion salad on the side. Yellow moong is at once light and filling. It has a brighter taste profile than the red lentils commonly found in U.S. markets that are called masoor dal, which actually cook up yellow and have an earthier taste profile. Both are delicious in their own way, but yellow moong has and always will have a special place in my heart. Try it for yourself. 


Stovetop: Punjabi Yellow Moong Dal

1 cup duhli moong dal (dried, split, and skinned green dal), picked over and
                                       washed (they look yellow)
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, minced
1-4 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chile powder
2 teaspoons salt

In a large pot, add yellow moong and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until cooked through with the lid on and slightly ajar. The ratio here is 1 to 4. One cup of product to 4 cups of water. 

In a separate pan, prepare the tarka. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add cumin and turmeric. Cook until the seeds sizzle, about 1 minute. 

Add onion. Cook until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Cook another minute. The garlic and ginger can be ground down together in a food processor. Add chiles. Cook another minute. 

Transfer this mixture to the cooking/cooked dal. Stir. Add garam masala, coriander powder, red chile powder, and salt. Stir. 

Simmer until all of your ingredients come together. If the mixture looks too thick, add a little water. If it looks too thin, cook it down a bit more. The consistency should be like porridge. 

Serve garnished with a pinch of raw, diced onion; thinly sliced green chiles; chopped fresh cilantro; a touch of ghee or butter; and, a hint of Indian achaar (pickle). These touches are what will take your dal from good to electrifying. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Usually, folks don't realize how much of a difference this post-cooking layering actually makes. Eat over basmati rice or with Indian bread like roti or naanI often eat it like a soup. 

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to make the recipe above. For more videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel and tune in Live on Facebook Indian As Apple Pie  Monday through Friday at 11 am CST (Chicago time). When you tune in Live, you can post your questions and comments as well. 


2 Responses


June 01, 2022

I was so glad to find your recipe when all others used pressure cookers and instant pots. The first time I made it I held back the chilli and liked it. The second time I put in all the chilli and oh! Fantastic. Moong dal is becoming my favourite. I can digest it and it becomes delicious with spices. What a find!

Valerie Reid
Valerie Reid

February 07, 2022

So nice to have a personal cooking lesson from a authentic cook- love your style of recalling childhood memories and agree with you tremendously !!! II’m on board as a former cook and love of Indian culture so happy I found your product at the local meat market in Kansas city MO-south side. Fairway Also, just moved here 2 years ago from Chicago! Really appreciate you
Respectfully, Valerie Reid

PS I’m sure you have read some of Peter Singers stuff-Animal Liberation- he’s been saying this for years-Bio-Ethics professor from Princeton

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