Moong Dal Tadka is a delicious, simple and comforting lentil curry that’s very easy to make. Served with jeera rice and kachumber salad, it makes the perfect complete healthy meal. If you’re in the mood for something more cheeky, try making these Aloo Pakoras with dal…the perfect combination!
Moong Dal is a simple lentil recipe, so if you’re a new cook or just want something simple and easy to make dinner, then this is definitely the right recipe for you. It’s also a healthy option full of protein and nutrients.
In Pakistan, daal is usually made with a combination of two lentils: moong and masoor daal. However, sometimes I like to make each dal separately. Today, I’m going to show you how to make comforting and soul soothing moong dal takda.
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about South Asian lentil recipes, check out this Ultimate Guide to Daal Recipes in the Pakistani & Indian Manner. They’re lots of delicious recipes included too!
How to Make Moong Dal Tadka
Do You Have to Soak Moong Dal?
Yes, moong dal (or most lentils for that matter) should be soaked for awhile at least. Even 15 minutes of soaking dal is enough for most lentils such as moong and masoor dal.
Making moong dal tadka is very easy. Essentially it’s just boiling the daal with a handful of spices, and then adding a tempering of aromatic spices such as, thinly sliced onion, thinly sliced garlic, cumin seeds, and sometimes whole red chillies or green chillies.
You can however make moong dal either by boiling it or using a pressure cooker. It’s faster to cook dal in pressure cooker of course as compared to boiling it. I’ve outlined both stove top and pressure cooker method below and in the recipe card as well.
How to Cook Moong Dal Tadka on Stovetop
1.) Soak the moong dal in water for 20 minutes. Drain in a collander.
2.) Transfer the dal to a medium sized pot, and add enough water so that it is one inch above the lentils.
3.) Add kashmiri chilli powder (laal mirch powder), turmeric (haldi) and salt. Boil the lentils until cooked. You may need to add more water if the daal is getting thick, and you want a thinner consistency. Add juice of half a lemon, it takes the flavor of daal to a whole other level of deliciousness!
4.) Once the lentils are cooked through, you can either garnish with lots of chopped coriander OR make a tadka and make this daal into dal tadka.
How to Cook Moong Dal Tadka in Pressure Cooker
1.) Soak moong dal for 20 minutes. Drain in a collander.
2.) Transfer to a pressure cooker, add Kashmiri lal powder, haldi (turmeric powder), and salt.
3.) Add water and pressure cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the moong dal is cooked through. Add more water if desired and juice of half a lemon.
Making the Tadka for Moong Dal (Spice Tempering)
Tadka is simply an aromatic tempering for dal. There are many kinds of tadkas and my favourite type is simple and easy.
You only need thinly sliced garlic, cumin seeds and a green chilli to make this tadka for moong dal. You can either use a neutral oil or ghee (tadka made in ghee is YUM).
Start by heating the oil or ghee in a small saucepan or frying pan. Add thinly sliced onion, and let it cook until its just starting to change color. Add the garlic and let it fry for a few seconds. Now add the cumin seeds and green chilli. ONLY fry for a few seconds now as the cumin seeds burn really fast.
Now transfer the tadka (tempering) to the dal and stir through. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
What to Serve Moong Dal Tadka With
Moong Dal Tadka
For Cooking the Moong Dal
- 1 cup moong dal
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspooon turmeric powder haldi
- 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder kashmiri laal mirch powder
- Juice of half a lemon
For the Tadka (Spice Tempering)
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli slit lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander for garnishing
- In a medium sized bowl, soak the lentils in water for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse the lentils and transfer to a medium sized pot and add the rest of the ingredients: water, salt, turmeric powder and kashmiri red chilli powder.
- On medium high heat, boil the lentils for about 30 minutes, while occasionally stirring. The consistency of the daal can be adjusted by adding more water if it's too thick for your liking.
- Finish the daal by adding a the juice of half a lemon and garnish with chopped coriander and tomatoes. Serve with plain white rice or naan / roti.
Pressure Cooker Method:
- Add the drained moong dal, fresh water and all the spices: turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. Cook on pressure for about 5-6 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Add juice of half a lemon.
Making the Tadka
- In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onion until it is golden. Add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Now add the green chilli and fry for a 30 seconds or so, and finally add the cumin seeds which only take 10 seconds or so to release their aroma.
- Carefully pour this tadka (temperinonto the cooked dal and top with chopped coriander. Serve rice or roti.