Methi dal is an excellent dal made similar to moong dal tadka but with the added twist of fresh fenugreek leaves. The fenugreek gives it a distinct aromatic and savory flavor with a slightly bitter note. This is a dish I’ve had at dhabas in India that I have started making for my family as a way to incorporate methi (fenugreek).
About this Recipe
- This is an excellent dal to make if you are looking for a new dal recipe, especially if you like a more savory, full-flavored dal
- This recipe is simple because methi gives it so much flavor; you don’t need to add too many spices.
This dal, or a similar version, is eaten in both North India and parts of South India. You can adjust to your choice of flavors. This is a flavorful dal that can be adapted to how you like. For example, if you wanted to make it more “Gujarati-style,” you can add some jaggery and a little bit of lemon juice.
This is a straightforward recipe, especially with the help of the Instant Pot. The one thing to look out for is that the masala could potentially burn because the Instant Pot gets so hot. If it looks like it is starting to stick, deglaze it with some water, scraping it off the bottom of the pan.
Moong Dal – I like the texture of moong dal the best; you could easily use masoor or tuvar.
Fresh fenugreek leaves – add a wonderful, savory note. If you don’t have fresh fenugreek leaves, use a tablespoon of kasoori methi (dried methi leaves) in its place.
Onions, Tomato, Garlic – a pretty standard base for dal
Red chili powder
Hing (optional, in the vaghar)
For a simple meal, eat methi dal with some paratha and jeera rice. Or you can serve it thali-style with paneer tikka, a vegetable shaak such as bhinda nu shaak. And if you wanted to add some meat, it would go well with Haryali chicken.
- Swap the dal for masoor or tuvar
- If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use a tablespoon of tomato paste.
- If you don’t have fresh fenugreek, you can substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Do not substitute seeds.
Methi Dal | Moong Dal with Fresh Fenugreek
- 1 cup moong dal
- ½ cup chopped methi leaves packed
- 1 Tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- ½ cup tomato chopped (~1 medium)
- 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 green chili chopped
- ½ tsp lemon juice to finish
- 2 tsp ghee
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder
- ⅛ tsp hing asafoetida, optional
- Rinse methi leaves 3-4 times to remove all sand. Pick out the leaves and tender stems. Chop finely.
- Rinse dal at least 3 times until the water runs clear.
- Heat ghee or oil on saute mode. Add cumin seeds. Let sizzle for a few seconds. Add onions and let soften. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden.
- Add tomatoes, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and 2 tablespoons of water. Let cook until tomatoes are jammy and oil rises to the top, about 3 minutes.
- Add green chilies, dal, and 2 1/2 cups of water. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
- Mash with the back of a spoon a few times to cream the dal. Adjust consistency by adding water to get your desired thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Heat ghee in a small pan. Add hing, then chili powder. Stir and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the dal.