Simple Moong Dal

simple indian dal recipe

You guys know me well enough by now to know that cooking is a pretty big part of my life. The act of making something for others, then sitting around and enjoying it together, well, I can’t think of anything better. When I started this blog one of my goals was to share and create recipes that I could have in one place. I did it years ago on my old blog, The Vintage Wife, but over time it got easier and easier not to write down recipes or photograph my dishes.

I have been toying with the idea of sharing recipes regularly in this space for many months, but didn’t know where to start. I felt like the majority of the dishes I make were either not very interesting, or were someone else’s recipe.

So, I finally decided to start where I am.

This is a dish we eat so frequently in our house. It is easy to throw together, it is full of flavor, and the kids love it. It makes for a simple and filling lunch with rice and a bit of yogurt, or a nice side to a main course. I always make a double batch so we can have it for a few days in the fridge–and the flavors continue to develop and in my opinion taste even better the next day!

simple indian dal recipe

Simple Moong Dal
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. 2 tablespoons ghee or cooking oil
  2. 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  3. 2-3 dried red chilies
  4. 1 cup moong dal (red lentils)
  5. 4 cups water
  6. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  7. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  8. 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
  12. 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  1. In a medium sized pot over medium-low heat add ghee, onions, and dried chilies. Stir every few minutes until onions are soft.
  2. Sift through and rinse the red lentils until the water runs clear.
  3. To the pot add lentils, water, turmeric, ground coriander, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring every few minutes. Cook for 25 minutes, adding more water if it appears to be getting too dry (or if you like a soupier dal).
  4. In a small sautee pan over medium heat add the cumin seeds and toast, shaking frequently until they are very aromatic and slightly darker in color, about thirty seconds. Stir cumin seeds, cilantro, and butter (optional) into the dal. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve over rice with a bit of yogurt on the side and garnish with more cilantro.
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