Moong ki Daal is lovely, light, bright and utterly comforting. Whether you mixed it with masoor as I do, or make it with all masoor follow the tips in this post for a perfectly balanced daal!
Mondays are for daal. The kind of daal that is easy to make and equally good with roti or rice. The kind of daal that you can even give the greatest compliment of all to - eating it with a spoon. For me that is most of the daals my mother makes including this one.
When I make this moong ki daal it tastes and feels like home.
If I close my eyes for a second I can almost hear the lazy hum of the fan, sense the inescapable humidity, and feel the almost flaky texture of homemade rotis as I tear a piece off to scoop up some of my moong daal.
How do you make a FLAVORFUL daal?
So what's the trick you ask, what makes one daal so ho hum and others so delicious. IMHO there are two things that are imperative to get right:-
- Seasoning: Daal is simple and needs it's few ingredients to show up in a way that's noticeable. Start with my recommended amount of salt and taste before adding your baghaar/tadka. Adjust bit by bit till it's eat with a spoon ready.
- Timing: You will see that I am specific about when to add ingredients. The initial seasoning trifecta goes in early to mellow out as it cooks, the chilies, cilantro, and lemon right before you make the baghaar so that they retain their fresh flavours, and the baghaar on top right before serving so it flavours the dish, but doesn't discolour it.
The Importance of Soaking Daal
Soaking daal is an absolute must for a daal like moong.
Here are three reasons why:
1.) Soaking daal helps the daal cook faster AND fully absorb flavour.
2.) When you soak daal the nutrients from it become easier for your body to absorb
3.) The soaking makes the daal much easier to digest
Daal Ingredients: Mixed Moong Masoor & Plain Moong
Now daal varies everywhere it is made. Or so it feels like. This is how my family makes it, but as ALWAYS I encourage tweaking to test. Simple recipes like these should taste and feel like your home, not just mine.
Ingredients for Moong and Mixed Moong Masoor ki Daal
Now, at the risk of offending some people, I have to share that while I love the bright lightness of moong ki daal, on it's own it can sometimes have a flavour that is almost a little soapy. It is to cut that flavour and round it out that I usually add a little masoor to my daal - 1 part masoor for every 3 parts of moong. You can vary the mix to suit your personal taste. My mama usually does this and so do I.
Speaking of mama, I also add a little finely diced onion to the bases of my daal. This allows the daal to have a smoother body/base and a more rounded flavour. Onions are also a natural tenderizer which is always a win!
Fresh Things That Make Daal Special
A great daal has a lovely base, an intoxicatingly good baghaar and middle notes that are bright, spicy and fresh. That is where the ingredients below come in.
Baghaar or Tadka
Baghaar changes the flavour of a daal. For a Moong ki daal the traditional baghaar features the following ingredients
Making the Daal: 3 Simple Steps
Step One: Making the base
Instant Pot: Add your soaked daal, spices, and onions to your IP along with 3 cups water. Put your daal on for 10 minutes at high pressure and naturally release for 10.
Stove Top: Bring your daal, onion, and spices to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until completely tender.
You daal should be lovely and creamy, thin it out to desired consistency and then check for seasoning.
Step Two: Adjust seasonings, then add your lemon juice, dhania, green chilies, and start on your baghaar.
Step Three: Heat a generous lug of oil in a frying pan, add your baghaar ingredients to the oil when it's shimmering, and fry on medium heat until the onions turn a deep caramel colour. Immediately pour your baghaar over your daal.
More Daal Recipes
I have always said that if I ever wrote an autobiography it would be called the daal diaries, I love lentils so much. Below are some of the lentil recipes on the blog.
- Classic Masoor Daal
- Mixed Daal Palak
- Chanay ki Daal in an Instant Pot
- Khatti Daal
- "Kaali" or Sabut Masoor ki Daal
- Ghar wali Maash ki daal
Made this daal? Rate it by rating on the recipe card below or leave a comment and a rating below! I love hearing from you! You can also tag me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog
Moong ki Daal or Moong Masoor Mixed
- ¾ cup moong ki daal yellow lentils
- ¼ cup masoor ki daal red lentils
- ¾-1 tsp red chilli powder
- ⅓ tsp turmeric
- 1 ¼ tsp salt may need more
- ½ onion (finely diced)
- handful of chopped cilantro
- a few chopped green chillies
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 3 tbsp oil
- the sliced half an onion from above
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- a sprig of curry leaves
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Wash and soak the lentils for a minimum of 30 minutes, an hour is preferred
- Stovetop: Combine the lentils with the chilli powder, salt, turmeric, onion and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer till completely tender - this can take 40 minutes or more depending on your moong daal.
- Instant Pot: Combine the lentils with 3 cups of water and the daal base ingredients. Manual / High pressure for 10, naturally release for 10, then release the remaining pressure and open your IP.
- You can use an immersion blender to puree the daal or leave as is. Add water to make the daal more thin or crank up the heat to thicken it depending on how you like to eat it.
- Adjust seasoning.
- Turn the stove off and add the chopped cilantro, green chillies and a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it a good stir.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the sliced onion, garlic, curry leaves, dried red chillies and cumin seeds.
- When the onions have turned a beautiful brown then pour the baghaar/tadka/tempering over the boiled lentils and cover.
- Serve with rice or roti.