Spiced Moong Dal

by on March 5, 2006
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Moong DalThanks again to Sailu’s Foods, I have found the ultimate in fast foods. Split yellow moong dal (pesara pappu) are tiny lentils that have been split and de-hulled; they cook up super-fast with no need for soaking or pressure cooking.

Last week I went looking for these in a local Indian grocery store, and I came out with them. . . and four other types of dal. When I got home, I laid them all out on the counter along with the dals I already had. My daughter suggested I make “8-Dal Soup,” leading me to try an experiment that failed, badly. So, no 8-Dal Soup recipe. Consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, to get back to the dal at hand, this simple recipe is taken almost exactly from Sailu’s blog. The only change I made was to eliminate the ghee and substitute 1/4 teaspoon of canola oil, for “blooming” the spices. I feel that cooking the spices in a tiny bit of oil helps release their flavor, but if you want to eliminate even this bit of oil, feel free to experiment with dry-frying the spices. Just be careful they don’t burn.

Pesara Pappu Kattu

This was flavorful but not too spicy. To make it more spicy, include the red pepper seeds.

This was my first time using curry leaves, but now that I have a bag full of them, I’m going to be looking for other ways to use these aromatic leaves. If you are also new to curry leaves, this web page contains some valuable information, including the fact that curry leaves can be frozen, and that they should not be removed from the stem until just before cooking.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 B September 17, 2010 at 10:10 pm

“Cook the moong dal in 3 cups of water until soft (about 15 minutes).”

“Cook” as in boil?


2 SusanV September 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Bring the water to a boil, add dal, reduce heat, and simmer until dal is done.


3 ChrisN October 1, 2010 at 7:46 am

Looks good but can you be more specific with the water to add? After cooking the lentils, I would have expected to drain the any excess water off (if there is any) but I would like to make the soup variation so how much water should be added to make the soup without it being watery?


4 SusanV October 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

When the lentils are done, they should have absorbed the water, so to make it soupy, I would expect to have to add 1 to 2 cups more water. But all lentils are different, and the heat at which you cook them can make a lot of difference in how much water evaporates, so I really suggest playing this by ear and adding water as you go until it reaches the consistency you want.


5 caterina October 30, 2010 at 9:56 am

Are the curry leaves you used fresh or dried? I was wondering if there is much difference between the two, because I can get only the dried kind…


6 SusanV October 30, 2010 at 10:37 am

I used fresh but I think dried would do too. When I find fresh curry leaves, I freeze them for later use, and they taste just like the fresh.


7 Lisa November 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Do you know where I might buy moong dal that is gluten free? So far, there appears to be cross-contamination…..


8 SusanV November 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That’s a hard question. I wasn’t aware of the cross-contamination, but I can see how that would be a problem. I just bought mine at an Indian grocery, so I presume it was not certified gluten-free.


9 Viktoria January 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

Thank you for a wonderful site! Do I have to wash the split moong beans before cooking? I was also wondering this about split red lentils and anything similar.


10 Susan Voisin January 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

Yes, just to be safe, I advise checking all legumes for small rocks and debris first and then washing it and draining well.


11 Viktoria January 30, 2012 at 6:40 am

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! <3


12 Sarah March 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

you can freeze curry leaves. just put them in a ziploc – they dont stick together as long as they are dry when put into bag. add to any indian dish


13 Christine Gervais November 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

Your 9-dal soup fiasco comment made me laugh. I have those moments, too! but they’ve fortunately also led to some tasty new dishes! Thanks for the laugh and the recipe!


14 fatima July 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

You can easily freeze the Curry Leaves , they freeze well . I tend to use them in all my dal (without my dal is tasteless ) they also give a nice flavour to curries .


15 fatima July 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

adding some fresh grated garlic (into puree ) to the oil will make it nice and tasty towards the end . and dont forget a few chopped fresch coriander leaves towards the end . i also tend to add a few browned onion slices towards the end too . iam not indian but i have been experimenting with Indian food for 30 years . i love it .


16 Vikki March 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Sounds yummy. How many servings does it make?


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