Healthy Moong Dal Recipe

Need a great way to spice up dinner? If so, we have a healthy and flavorful recipe that is sure to hit the spot. Most recipes for Indian cuisine can seem like they are super complicated and have dozens of steps, but this moong dal is simple, flavorful, and it takes no time to make. Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn is known for coming up with tasty dishes without skipping out on the flavor and this is no exception. "Moong Dal is mung beans. They call them Moong Dal in India. Very similar to yellow split peas or red lentils," Hahn explains of the meaning behind the name. 

There are a lot of things to love about this dish and Hahn explains it best herself. "This recipe is SO delicious. My favorite part about it is the huge flavor profile from all of the Indian spices and also the huge health benefits," she raves. "Lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A very low-calorie, nutrient-dense soup. Moong Dal, like lentils and split peas, are just intensely packed with nutrition." 

Keep reading to find out how to make this tasty Indian delight. 

Gather the ingredients

Once you are ready to begin cooking, it's best to make a list of ingredients you will need to whip up this dish and head to the grocery store. For starters, grab some sesame oil. In the produce section, you will need to get a yellow onion, a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh ginger. You'll also want to grab a red onion and some fresh cilantro for the garnish. 

The remaining items will give your moong dal a lot of flavor. When you're in the spice aisle, get cumin seeds, cumin powder, coriander, salt, and turmeric. You will also need some tomato paste. Finally, pick up some vegetable broth and a package of moong dal (the label might say "moong bean" or "mung bean").

Add the oil and saute the veggies

Now that you have gathered all of the ingredients you need for this dish, it's time to get cooking, and we mean that in every sense of the word. Grab a large pot and place it on your stove. Then, drizzle some oil in the middle. The next thing you will need to add is the yellow onion. Remember that you should have diced these ahead of time.

After the onions, throw in the garlic, which you also should have minced ahead of time. The last thing you need to throw in is the ginger, about 1 tablespoon grated. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, and then add the cumin seeds. Stir for about 30 seconds.

Add the other spices

Your cumin seeds serve as a good spice base. "Cumin seeds are used a lot in Indian cooking. When you cook them you toast them first in the pot or pan and this enhances the flavor," Hahn shares. "They will kind of snap as they toast. Tons of health benefit to cumin. It has anti-cancer properties, boosts memory, and has powerful antioxidants that protect our cells. I use cumin a ton in my cooking! If you don't have the seeds you can just add about ½ teaspoon more cumin powder." 

Next, add the tomato paste, followed by the cumin powder and the coriander. At this time, you can also toss in the salt and turmeric. Stir everything again to combine. The last two items you need to add in during this step are the broth and the moong dal.

Boil and simmer

With all your ingredients in the pot, you can now crank the heat up and bring the soup to a boil. Once you see bubbles reach the surface, turn the heat down and reduce the boil to a simmer and cover it. Hahn explains, "you want to bring this to a boil to really get the heat going." She further explains, "Then when you lower it to a simmer there is enough momentum to cook the moong dal but not turn it mushy. These break down similar to a red lentil." 

Cook everything together for about 30 to 40 minutes until the moong dal gets soft.

Serve and enjoy

Go ahead and take the soup off of the heat and serve in cups or bowls. The moong dal is perfect with some chopped red onion and a little bit of fresh chopped cilantro on the top. "This is great on its own or over rice. Nice to also have it with flatbread or naan bread. Makes a great appetizer or the main event!" Hahn raves. 

If you end up with some leftover moong dal, Hahn tells us that it "Stores nicely in an air tight container for 5 days." 

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Healthy Moong Dal Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
Moong dal — similar to lentils or yellow split peas — is packed with nutrition and flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
moong dal in a bowl
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup moong dal
Optional Ingredients
  • red onion slices for garnish
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Add the oil to a large pot on high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, then add cumin seeds and stir for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tomato paste, cumin powder, coriander, salt, and turmeric. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the broth and the moong dal. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cover for 30 to 40 minutes until the moong dal is soft.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Top with the red onion slices and cilantro if desired and serve in individual bowls.
Calories per Serving 67
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 3.1 g
Sodium 654.3 mg
Protein 1.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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