Dal also spelled as daal, dahl, dhal is an Indian lentils dish staple in Indian household.
A simple dal dish goes beyond any regional, religious, socio-economic boundaries.
Each Indian household has its own dal recipe that is a family favorite.
There are different types of lentils available in the market, red, and yellow lentils being the most popular once.
This Indian dal recipe is made with Moong or Mung beans a type of split yellow lentils.
This Indian lentils recipe has a personal bond as this is a typical Bengali daal dish made in our house and my dad’s favorite.
What makes this Indian Lentil recipe unique is that the lentils are lightly dry roasted for a heightened nutty taste.
Ingredients for Making Moong Daal With Vegetables at Home
This Indian daal recipe uses whole aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, and cumin seeds.
You can read the benefits of the whole spices and how to use them for cooking below.
Here is what you will need to make moong daal at home:
⇒1 chopped carrot
⇒a handful of chopped green beans
⇒a handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
⇒1-2 green chillies
⇒ 1 cup moong daal
⇒1 tsp sugar
⇒ 3 tsp sunflower oil/vegetable oil or ghee
⇒salt to taste
⇒1 tsp cumin seeds
⇒1 inch cinnamon stick
⇒4 green cardamoms ( read the uses and benefits of green cardamom)
⇒2-3 whole red chillies
⇒2 bay leaves
⇒1 tsp turmeric powder
⇒1 /2 tsp garam masala powder ( what is garam masala powder)
SUBSTITUTES AND OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
If you do not happen to have few of the whole spices then you can still make this recipe with a minimum of 4 of the spices listed above.
⇒Substitute moong lentils with any other lentils of your choice. Tips shared below
⇒Do not add sugar if you do not wish to.
⇒Skip using green chillies if you do not find any
⇒Substitute whole red chilli with a tsp of chilli powder
⇒ 2 tsp lemon juice for a slight tang if your wish
Here is a snapshot of the ingredients to give you an idea:
How To Make Indian Dal? Step-wise Method
The cooking process with the stepwise pictures explains how to make this easy Indian Moong Daal recipe with vegetables at home.
Roast moong daal in medium to low heat stirring continuously to avoid burning the lentils until it turns into a bright yellow colour.
Here is a picture to compare plain unroasted mung daal to roasted mung daal.
Once roasted wash and soak the daal in water for about 15 minutes.
Next, boil the lentils with a teaspoon of salt.
While the daal is boiling, heat ghee in a pan and add whole spices to it. Fry till it releases aroma for about 10 seconds.
Now add the vegetables and saute for 5- 8 minutes on high flame .
Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder and cook until the tomatoes becomes mushy.
Next, add the boiled lentils and 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Once it comes to a nice thick consistency add a tsp of Garam masala powder, fresh coriander leaves, and 1 tsp ghee (optional) and remove from heat.
Serve mung daal fry with plain boiled rice
Cooking Tips & FAQs
- For optimum taste, I suggest roasting moong daal for a nice nutty flavour.
- You can make this Indian daal recipe without roasting mung daal. This may change the taste a little but will taste good too. You will also save time if you decide not to roast the lentils.
- It is important to keep the grains of the lentils whole and not mushy. A mushy consistency dilutes the flavour as the recipe uses whole spices.
- While boiling the daal ensure there is enough liquid left in the pan after the daal boils to make the sauce for the daal.
- Add lemon juice if you wish at the end for a slight tang.
- The consistency of the daal is medium. Not too runny and not too think so add water accordingly.
- Adding garam masala and fresh coriander leaves at the end will lift the flavours.
- You can add any assorted vegetables of your choice. There is no rule on the type of vegetables but root and vegetables with less water content are best.
- Add a teaspoon of ghee or a blob of butter before serving for a little tasteful guilty pleasure.
What is Moong Daal or Mung Beans?
Moong or mung beans is one of the most widely used lentils in India which is essentially green split grams but without the skin.
It is native to India, so you may not find mung beans in normal small supermarkets but they are readily available in any Indian grocery store.
Mung beans are healthy and easy to digest hence forms part of the baby’s first solid food during weaning.
Different types of moong lentils are used for cooking in Indian cuisine. They are :
This daal dish is made from the yellow split gram or yellow moong daal.
What Can You Substitute For Moong Daal
Although moong daal has a distinct taste of its own, you can easily replace moong daal with yellow lentils, or toor dal ( another type of yellow lentils).
Red lentils too can be a decent replacement but will lend the dish a different taste.
How Does Moong Daal Taste
Moong daal has a kind of nutty taste.
It is the taste that makes it a very versatile lentil, especially within Indian cuisine.
It is used for making many dishes such as mushy thick gravy, a dry dish for breakfast or any meal, pancakes, savoury snacks, and even desserts.
The other advantage of moong daal apart from the taste is the ease of making it.
It is a quick-cooking lentil and does not require a long time to cook.
I wholeheartedly recommend making this Indian Daal recipe with Moong lentils to experience the taste.
What Are The Benefits of Moong Daal
Most of us are already aware that any type of lentils is a great source of protein. Apart from protein moong daal is rich in calcium, potassium, and Vitamin B.
The dietary fiber present in moong beans makes it very easy to digest thus avoiding flatulence associated with most lentils.
Can You Freeze Moong Daal Fry
One of the good things about any lentils dish is that it freezes really well.
This moong daal dish made with vegetables is nutrition in one pot that can be put in a zip lock bag or a freezer container for later use.
It will keep its taste well for unto 3 months from the date it is frozen.
All you will need to do it thaw it and heat it up on a pot instead of the microwave.