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moong dal tadka (indian lentils)

July 4, 2022

this dal can be made more easily by someone with limited ingredients.

please check out hebbar’s kitchen for the full recipe with photo step-by-step!

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ▢ 1 inch ginger (finely chopped)
  • ▢ ½ onion (finely chopped)
  • ▢ 1 green chilli (slit) (I wouldn’t include this if I was cooking it for a picky eater)
  • ▢ 1 tomato (finely chopped)
  • ▢ ¼ tsp turmeric / haldi
  • ▢ ½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder / lal mirch powder
  • ▢ 1 tsp salt
  • ▢ ¾ cup moong dal
  • ▢ 3 cup water

for tempering / tadka:

  • ▢ 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • ▢ 1 tsp cumin / jeera
  • ▢ 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • ▢ 1 inch ginger (julienne)
  • ▢ 1 dried kashmiri red chilli
  • ▢ ¼ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder / lal mirch powder
  • ▢ ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ▢ pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • ▢ few curry leaves
  • ▢ 2 tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • ▢ 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • in an instant pot (or regular pot) heat 2 tbsp oil and saute ½ onion.
  • also saute 1 inch ginger and 1 green chilli.
  • additionally saute 1 tomato till it turns soft and mushy.
  • add in ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp salt and saute.
  • now add ¾ cup washed moong-dal and 3 cup water.
  • mix well making sure everything is combined well.
  • cover and cook until dal is soft.
  • now prepare the tadka and pour the tadka over dal along with 2 tbsp coriander leaves and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  • finally, mix the moong dal tadka and serve with hot rice / roti.

    recipe by hebbars kitchen – check out their blog for a fantastic visual recipe!


This is not as flavorful as my favorite Gujarati dal – not coconutty like Khandeshi dal, or heavy like dal makhani – but the tadka has some good flavor. I’ll make it again. It will probably be my go-to dal recipe when I am cooking in a kitchen without many ingredients, and the dal I will recommend for picky eaters or those who are new to Indian food and aren’t ready for fenugreek, coconut, or tamarind. (Might want to cut the chili by quite a bit for a picky eater, especially if it sits overnight and the slit chili infuses itself into your leftovers!) It’s quite flavorful from the tadka, and I had absolutely no problem eating an entire batch of this over not even 24 hours. (Sorry, potluck dal…. you just lost your place in my rotation.)

Thanks again to hebbars kitchen for a great recipe. Check out all their wonderful dal recipes – or check out mine!

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