Moong Dal Tadka Recipe

Updated on January 17, 2020
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

A delicious bowl of moong dal tadka.
A delicious bowl of moong dal tadka. | Source

Moong dal tadka is a popular main dish in India. Moong dal means split and skinned green gram, and tadka means tempering. Thus, the name of this dish means tempered green gram curry.

We are preparing it in the Punjabi style, meaning that this is the way it is prepared in the North Indian state of Punjab.

Popularly called dal tadka, this dish can also be prepared with urad dal (split and skinned black gram) or with a mixture of both green and black dals. However, it is more common to use moong dal for this dish. Serve it with roti, naan, or rice.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves 3 to 4 people


  • 3/4 cup moong dal (split and skinned green gram)
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 3 to 4 granules or 1/4 teaspoon heeng (asafoetida) or its powder
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons hara dhania (cilantro), chopped


  1. Put the dal in a pressure cooker and wash it until the water runs clear. Keep it on full heat and add the water, salt, haldi, heeng, and ginger paste. Put on the lid, and at the first whistle, turn off the heat.
  2. Open the cooker when the pressure subsides. Check to make sure the dal is soft.
  3. Keep the dal on medium heat and prepare the tadka on another burner. Remember to stir the dal from time to time while you are making the tadka. Reduce heat to low when the dal starts to thicken.
  4. Keep a pot on high heat and heat the desi ghee. Add jeera and chopped onions. Saute for a minute or so and add the kasuri methi. Saute until the onions are light brown.
  5. Add the garlic paste and stir a few times. Now add the garam masala, coriander powder, and red chilli powder. Stir until the spices are roasted or change a shade in color. Add the tomato puree and stir for 15 to 20 seconds.
  6. Add the cilantro to the dal when it starts to thicken, and give it a good stir.
  7. When the tadka is ready, pour it into the dal and give it a good mix. Cook the dal until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve.

Recipe Video

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly


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      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        15 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.


      • lizmalay profile image


        15 months ago from USA

        For sure!

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        15 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        I hope you do make this dal and do give me your feedback. Thank you for stopping by.

      • lizmalay profile image


        16 months ago from USA

        Hi Rajan, I've been looking for dal recipe since my husband loved dal curry when we were in Malaysia. This sounds very delicious and I think I have all ingredients in the pantry. I'm very excited to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        16 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        We get a wide variety of lentils here in all forms - split, with skin, without and whole, even bean greens. Really healthy, all of them. Thank you, Peggy.

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        16 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        Southall is like a mini-Punjab. That's what my Uncle who lives there says. I'm glad you enjoy Punjabi food manatita. Thank you.

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        16 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.


      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        I have never seen split lentils over here. We do see split peas. I like making split pea as well as lentil soup. Your flavorings sound really good. Will see if I can find split lentils for sale in specialty stores.

      • manatita44 profile image


        16 months ago from london

        I know it and like it very much, although these days I favour Mutaar paneer, daal makhani (Makni) and chapati with mango lassi.

        I find myself asking the question as to whether the Sikhs are more prevalent in Southall than Hindus. There are two Hindu temples and the Sai Baba's have theirs. There are, let me see … 1,2,3,4,5 Sikh Gurdhwara's and some very decent restaurants. There is another Gurdhwara here in West Ealing where I live.

        Great meals! carry on Bro.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        16 months ago from India

        one of my favorites!


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