Green Moong Dal (Green Gram Dal)

Healthy, wholesome, and protein-rich green moong dal (also known as green gram dal) makes a perfect comforting meal when served with rice, roti or paratha.

Green moong dal in a bowl and served with rice in a plate in the back.

❤️ About This Green Moong Dal Recipe

  • Whole green moong dal is also known as sabut moong dal in Hindi where sabut means ‘whole’. 
  • In Gujarati, it is known as ‘Mag’. Khatta moong is more popular in Gujarati households than this version.

This green moong dal curry is Punjabi-style where onion-tomato masala is cooked first.

You’ll need basic easy-to-find ingredients. It is lightly spiced with basic spice powders. There are no strong-flavored spices (like garam masala or kasoori methi) are added.

It’s simple yet super delicious.

Meal prep friendly: make a big batch of this green moong dal and have it for a lunch too or freeze it for later.

You can pack sabut moong dal into the lunch box with plain basmati rice in a separate container.

NOTE: This sabut moong dal recipe was first shared in Nov 2013. The step-by-step photos show an old recipe when moong beans are pressure cooked first and then added into cooked onion tomato masala. Now I have been making this in instant pot and I have shared that method as well below. 

🧾 Ingredient Notes For Green Gram Dal

  • Green moong dal: In Indian grocery stores, sometimes you may find ‘Desi’ small moong beans. I prefer to buy this desi kind as they have more flavor than the regular one. Desi moong beans are smaller in size compared to regular sabut moong beans packet. 
    Soak Or No Soak? 
    • I prefer to soak my beans for at least 2 hours to make them easy to digest. 
    • However, you can skip soaking these green moong beans if you’re in rush.
    • Cooking time will vary slightly depending on whether you have soaked or not. I have mentioned both cook times below.
  • Ginger-Garlic: I have not added it just because I have been making it this way for 10 years. There is no specific reason for not adding them. If you like then you can add 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste.
  • Spices: You’ll need basic everyday Indian spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chili powder.
  • Lemon juice or Lime juice: It is a MUST. it will perk up the whole dish and tastes super delicious.  

👩‍🍳 How To Make Whole Green Moong Dal? (Pics) 

1) Wash sabut moong dal under running cold water until water runs clear. Or rinse them in a bowl using water 2-3 times or until the water is not cloudy anymore. Then soak in enough water (1-2 inches water above the beans) for 2-4 hours. Alternately, you can skip the soaking step.

2) After soaking discard the soaking water and add soaked beans to the pressure cooker and add fresh water. Close the cooker with a lid, put the weight on and cook.

  • No soak beans: 1 whistle on high + 20 minutes on medium-low.
  • Soaked beans: 1 whistle on high + 10 minutes on medium-low.

Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid. Check the beans by mashing between your thumb and finger, it should be cooked to soft and almost mushy.

Collage of 2 images showing soaked and boiled sabut green moong dal.

3) While the pressure is releasing, heat the oil in a pan or kadai on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.

4) Add chopped onion and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process.

5) Cook until onions are soft and translucent or light pink in color. No need to brown them. If using ginger garlic paste then add at this time and cook for a minute or until the raw smell of ginge garlic goes away.

6) Add chopped tomato, mix and cook for 2 minutes. They’ll start to soften.

7) Add remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. 

8) Mix well and mash the tomatoes using the back of the spatula. Cook for a minute.

Collage of 6 images showing tempering cumin seeds, cooking onion, tomato, mixing spice powders.

9) Add boiled moong beans along with its water and add another ¾ cup of water.

10) Mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust the consistency by adding more water or by simmering excess water as per your liking.

11) Turn off the stove, and add lemon juice.

12) Add freshly chopped cilantro. Mix well and it is ready to serve.

Collage of 4 images showing adding boiled moong beans, simmering, add lemon juice and cilantro.

👩‍🍳 Instant Pot Green Moong Dal Recipe:

  1. Rinse whole moong dal and soak (or skip soaking) as mentioned above.
  2. Turn on the instant pot with saute mode. Once hot add oil and cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds sizzle a bit.
  3. Add onion and a little salt, and cook until onions are soft and translucent. 
  4. Add ginger, garlic and saute for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add remaining salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix and cook for 1 minute. If it’s burning then add a splash of water so it doesn’t stick or burn.
  7. Add rinsed (or soaked) moong beans along with fresh water. Stir well.
  8. Cover the instant pot with a lid, keep the valve to sealing, cancel the saute mode and cook on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes (for no soak beans) or 10 minutes (for soaked beans).
  9. Let the pressure go down by itself, and open the lid. Add lemon juice and cilantro.
  10. Mix, and taste the salt and lemon juice. Adjust if needed. 
Instant pot green moong dal served in a bowl with a garnish of cilantro.

💭 Expert Tips For Green Moong Dal Recipe

  • Do not simmer after adding lemon juice to retain its flavor. So always add lemon juice at the end once the cooking is done.
  • You can skip soaking but I highly recommend soaking the beans for two reasons:
    1. The flavor is much better with soaked moong beans.
    2. When soaked beans are cooked, they are easy to digest compared to no-soak beans.
  • Storage:
    • In the refrigerator, it stays good for 3 days in an airtight container.
    • In the freezer, it stays good for up to 3 months. Store in individual portions or family’s one-time meal portion in a freezer-safe container.

🍽 Serving Ideas

  • This tastes best when served with plain rice or jeera rice with a side of Indian salad (aka kachumber).
  • Instead of rice, you can pair it with quinoa or millet.
  • This green gram dal can be paired with roti or paratha
Green moong dal and plain rice served in a plate.

Did you try this sabut green gram dal recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review in the comment section below.

Green Moong Dal Recipe (Green Gram Dal)

4.72 from 32 votes
Green moong dal in a bowl and served with rice in a plate in the back.
Healthy, wholesome, and protein-rich green moong dal (also known as green gram dal) makes a perfect comforting meal when served with rice, roti or paratha.
Kanan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size 4 -6

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Whole green moong dal (Green gram dal)
  • 1 ½ cups Water, for stovetop pressure cooking
  • 3 cups Water, for Instant pot cooking
  • ¾ cup Water, for Simmering moong beans into onion tomato masala (for stovetop method only)
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Tomato, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons Lemon juice, or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro or coriander leaves

Instructions

Stove-top Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Wash sabut green moong dal under running cold water until water runs clear. Or rinse them in a bowl using water 2-3 times or until the water is not cloudy anymore. Then soak in enough water (1-2 inches water above the beans) for 2-4 hours. Alternately, you can skip the soaking step.
  • After soaking discard the soaking water and add soaked beans to the pressure cooker and add fresh water. Close the cooker with a lid, put the weight on and cook.
    No soak beans: 1 whistle on high + 20 minutes on medium-low.
    Soaked beans: 1 whistle on high + 10 minutes on medium-low.
  • Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid. Check the beans by mashing between your thumb and finger, it should be cooked to soft and almost mushy.
  • While the pressure is releasing, heat the oil in a pan or kadai on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.
  • Add chopped onion and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process. Cook until onions are soft and translucent or light pink in color. No need to brown them.
  • If using ginger garlic paste then add at this time and cook for a minute or until the raw smell of ginge garlic goes away.
  • Add chopped tomato, mix and cook for 2 minutes. They’ll start to soften.
  • Add remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix well and mash the tomatoes using the back of the spatula. Cook for a minute.
  • Add boiled moong beans along with its water and add another ¾ cup of water. Mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust the consistency by adding more water or by simmering excess water as per your liking.
  • Turn off the stove, add lemon juice.
  • Add freshly chopped cilantro. Mix well and it is ready to serve.

Instant Pot Green Moong Dal:

  • Rinse green moong dal and soak (or skip soaking) as mentioned above.
  • Turn on the instant pot with saute mode. Once hot add oil and cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds sizzle a bit.
  • Add onion and a little salt, cook until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add ginger garlic and saute for 30-40 seconds.
  • Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix and cook for 1 minute. If it’s burning then add a splash of water so it doesn’t stick or burn.
  • Add rinsed (or soaked) moong beans along with fresh water. Stir well.
  • Cover the instant pot with a lid, keep the valve to sealing, cancel the saute mode and cook on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes (for no soak beans) or 10 minutes (for soaked beans).
  • Let the pressure go down by itself, and open the lid. Add lemon juice and cilantro.
  • Mix, taste the salt and lemon juice. Adjust if needed.

Notes

  • Do not simmer after adding lemon juice to retain its flavor. So always add lemon juice at the end once the cooking is done.
  • You can skip soaking but I highly recommend soaking the beans for two reasons:
    (1) The flavor is much better with soaked moong beans.
    (2) When soaked beans are cooked, they are easy to digest compared to no-soak beans.

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal (5%) | Carbohydrates: 6g (2%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 8g (12%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 615mg (26%) | Potassium: 191mg (5%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 2g (2%) | Vitamin A: 566IU (11%) | Vitamin C: 9mg (11%) | Calcium: 41mg (4%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

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