Delicious, Warming, Comforting, Nourishing and Nutritious Mung Daal is our go to Autumn/Winter meal. A classic Daal recipe using Mung Beans.

This is a healthy Daal that is thick, creamy and flavourful. 

Bowl of Mung Daal with Red Chillies, Butter and Coriander

Mung Daal

Some recipes should be kept simple and I think that is the case with Daal. Although Daal recipes can be time consuming, this one isn’t as time consuming as most but more to the point, it is a very easy recipe. 

To overcome the time it takes to cook Daal, some people cook mung daal in a pressure cooker and I have recently tried this with my electric pressure cooker, which is the best thing since sliced bread. However, more often then not, I cook it on the stove.

I love this recipe because the earthy flavour of Mung Daal pairs perfectly with aromatic indian spices. 

The beauty of this dish is that you can have it as a soup. You can have it with a chappati/naan, you couldd even have it with rice or quinoa.

There are many variations to this recipe but this is how I like to make it. To me, Mung Daal is a powerhouse of a recipe. As some of you are aware, I study Naturopathy and in Ayurveda specifically there is a saying that goes ‘Mug Chalawey Pug’, which roughly translates to Mung gets your legs moving.

Bowl of Mung Daal with Soup surrounded by Indian trinkets

Mung is food for the soul. Food that gives you vitality and vigour. It is easy to digest too (when soaked beforehand) and alongside other daals is amongst the first dishes a weaning baby is given. Often alongside a rice dish like Kitchari. 

Don’t skip these steps

Because this is a simple dish, there are a few steps that take it from average to divine. These are:

  • Making sure that the flavour layers are cooked out properly so that the ingredients natural flavour is released as they should be.
  • Taste your tomato. Many companies add a lot of citric acid to tomato tins/cartons. This can make the Daal extra sour. If they are sour, add a pinch of sugar in with the tomato.
  • Use fresh curry leaves if possible. There is nothing that they can be replaced with.
  • Yoghurt and tempering – The yoghurt in this recipe adds richness, depth and loads of flavour. After adding the tempered spices to the yoghurt, you then need to add the yoghurt to the Daal and because the yoghurt is so cold and the Daal so hot, the Daal can split and you will see loads of little dots of yoghurt in the Daal. If you instead add a couple of ladles of the Daal into the yoghurt mix before stirring the whole bowl back into the Daal, this won’t happen. 
  • Soaking the Mung Beans – Doing so just makes the cooking of the Mung Beans quicker and aids in digestion.

What goes in Mung Daal

To make this Daal, you need:

  • A base of onions, garlic and green chilli. This is the usual base for many indian curries.
  • A second layer of tomato which is simmered until the oil separates from the tomato. Then dried spices are added.
  • Pre soaked and boiled Daal.
  • Tempered spices and yoghurt – tempering spices in ghee and then swirling them in the yoghurt before stirring them into the Daal. (See Notes)
  • Butter or Ghee – Add a small dollop of ghee/butter on top and mix through. Contrary to popular belief, Ghee is actually considered extremely healthy and beneficial to health in Naturopathy. 
  • Bowl of Mung Daal with Red Chillies, Coriander and Spoon on a Yellow Cloth

Mung Daal and Other types of Daal

Mung Daal, Green Moong Dal or Green Gram as it is also known, lend an earthy flavour to dishes which is unmatched by other daals. There are 3 varieties of Mung Beans. The whole Mung bean which has to be soaked. The split mung bean with skins attached and split mung beans without skins aka yellow mung. The whole green bean can also be sprouted and used in curries, soups and salads.

These are the different types of Lentils used in indian cooking:

Picture of a Variety of Daals with LabelsImage courtesy of Vegan Richa.

  • Ways to use different types of Daal

  • The split Mung daal can be used in making many rice and daal dishes.
  • Indian Brown Lentils are sometimes added to rice dishes as with yellow split peas.
  • Black Gram Beans, Split Black Gram, Split and skinned black Gram (Urad Daal) – Earthy an often used to make the infamous dish Daal Makhani, these lentils are widely used in India. They are also used to make Papadums, Dosa, Idli and Dahi Vada.
  • Split Pigeon Peas are often used in a similar way to split red lentils, where they are simmered and completely melted down or pureed into a thick soup like consistency. I use them in Daal Chawal. (Lamb and Daal with Rice). 

Serving Suggestions

  • A dollop of ghee/butter is ALWAYS a good idea on any Moong Daal recipe.
  • A squeeze of Lemon Juice works well too. I prefer not to add lemon but others love it. This is down to personal preference.
  • The  leftovers can be turned it into a quesadilla. If you haven’t had it before it sounds strange but please do try it if you do have leftovers. So you reduce the daal down to dry it out a bit and spoon it onto half of a wrap or chappati. Then fold it over and dry fry in a pan flipping once in between. Simple and delicious!
  • Like many others, I usually serve mine with half an onion diced finely, steeped in 2 tbsp of vinegar.

How to make Mung Daal

Mung Daal soaking in water

Rinse the beans until the water runs clear.
Soak them in water for an hour.
Mung Daal in water in black pot Discard the water and add the beans to a pan with 6 cups of water
Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan.
Simmer for 30 minutes. (Check every ten minutes and add more water if necessary).
Chopped white onion Chop the onions, crush the garlic and ginger and chop or pierce the green chillies.Grated Garlic, Garlic cloves and microplane Garlic, Ginger and Green Chillies on chopping boardHeat the oil and ghee and add the onions. Cook until golden brown. Oil and Ghee in potBrowned onions, crushed garlic, crushed ginger, chopped green chillies
Add the garlic, ginger and chopped green chilli and saute.
Add the pureed tomatoes and simmer until the oil seperates from the tomato. 
Tomato base with dried spices Stir in the turmeric, red chilli, salt, coriander and cumin powders and saute.
Tomato base and Madras Curry Powder Add the Madras Curry Powder and simmer before pouring in the boiled Mung Beans discarding the water. Add a couple of cups of water. 
Mung Daal in a pot with wooden spatulaTemper the spices in Ghee. 
Spices in Ghee in black pan Browned spices in GheeStir them into the yoghurt. Ladle some Mung into the yoghurt to avoid splitting  and carefully pour in to the Mung Daal pot. Stir through. Simmer and top with chopped coriander.
Browned spices in ghee Tempered spices in yoghurt with spoon
Mung Daal in bowl with indian trinkets surrounding bowlMore heart warming Daal and Soup recipes:

Vegan/Vegetarian Healthy Manchow Soup – Indo Chinese

Red lentil and bulgar wheat soup

Masoor Dal Tadka

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Mung Daal in a bowl with a spoon on yellow shawl
5 from 5 votes
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Mung Daal

Delicious, Warming, Comforting, Nourishing and Nutritious Mung Daal is our go to Autumn/Winter meal. A classic Daal recipe using Mung Beans.

This is a very healthy soup that is thick, creamy and flavourful. 

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Daal, Dal, Green Moong, Indian Daal, Moong Bean, Mung Bean, Mung Daal, Mung Dal
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Calories 359 kcal
Author Safira

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Green Moong Beans Soaked for 1 hour
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 3 Onions Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 1 inch Ginger Crushed
  • 2 Green Chillies Chopped Finely
  • 375 ml Passata/Tomato
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli or Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tbsp Madras Curry Powder Or any Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/2 cup Yoghurt Natural Plain

Tempering

  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies
  • 6 cloves Garlic Finely Sliced
  • Small Handful Fresh Curry Leaves

Instructions

  1. Rinse the beans until the water runs clear. Soak them in water for an hour. Discard the water and add the beans to a pan with 6 cups of boiling water. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 30 - 45 minutes. (Check every ten minutes and add more water if necessary).

  2. In a separate pan, heat the oil and ghee over medium/high heat. Add the onions and allow to cook until golden brown. Around 10 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger and chopped green chilli and saute for a further 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in the Passata and mix well. Simmer on low until the tomato and oil seperate. Around 10 minutes. Meanwhile temper the spices.

  5. Stir in the turmeric, salt, red chilli, coriander and cumin powders. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes over a low heat.

  6. Add the Curry Powder and GAram MAsala Powder and simmer for 2 minutes.

Tempering and Completion

  1. Meanwhile, heat the ghee for tempering in a pan.

  2. Add all the spices and simmer on medium low until they begin to crackle and colour. Remove from the heat.

  3. Add the yoghurt to a small bowl and whisk well. Stir in the tempered spices.

  4. Ladle (2 ladles at least) some of the Mung Daal into the yoghurt and mix well. Pour the wholw bowl into the Daal whilst mixing it into the Daal with a large spoon.

  5. Simmer for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and ladle into bowls.

Recipe Notes

Because this is a simple dish, there are a few steps that take it from average to divine. These are:

  • Making sure that the flavour layers are cooked out properly so that the ingredients natural flavour is released as they should be. The onions should be cooked for at least 10 minutes as should the tomatoes.
  • Taste your tomato. Many companies add a lot of citric acid to tomato tins/cartons. This can make the Daal extra sour. If they are sour, add a pinch of sugar in with the tomato.
  • Use fresh curry leaves if possible. There is nothing that they can be replaced with.
  • Yoghurt and tempering - After adding the tempered spices to the yoghurt, you then need to add the yoghurt to the Daal. As the yoghurt is so cold and the Daal so hot, the Daal can split and you will see loads of little dots of yoghurt in the Daal. If you instead add a couple of large spoons of the Daal into the yoghurt mix before stirring the whole bowl back back into the Daal, this won't happen.
  • Soaking the Mung Beans - Doing so just makes the cooking of the Mung Beans quicker and aids in digestion.

 

Mung Daal

12 thoughts on “Mung Daal

  1. 5 stars
    This daal recipe is perfectly comforting and a delicious option for the fall months! As someone who hasn’t prepared it often, I love how you included the step-by-step process images!

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