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square top shot of moong dal in a bowl garnished with raw red onion and cilantro
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4.93 from 94 votes

Moong Dal

An easy, traditional dal made from split mung beans
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Natural Pressure Release10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: instant pot, moong dal, mung bean
Servings: 6
Calories: 152kcal
Author: Puja Thomas-Patel


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 Tbsp ghee or oil with high smoke point like canola, grapeseed, peanut
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili, cut into half feel free take out the seeds and veins if you don’t want the heat
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
  • 1/2 Tbso ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 2 cups water
  • lemon and cilantro for garnish


  • Rinse the moong dal three to five times until the water runs clear.
  • Set the InstantPot on saute and add the ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds, green chili, asafoetida, garlic, turmeric, chili powder and ginger. Stir and let cook for about one minute. Be sure to stir constantly or else the ginger will stick.
  • Add the tomatoes and salt. Let cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes look a bit jammy.
  • Add the moong dal. Stirring constantly, let cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the water. Close the InstantPot lid and turn off saute mode. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release for 10 minutes before opening the InstantPot.
  • Now, using a spoon, mash the cooked dal against the edges for the pot about 15 to 20 times. The moong dal should be well cooked and mash easily.
  • Now add water to reach the consistency you like. I usually add about ½ to 1 cup of water. Stir. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice. Serve warm with lemon slices. 


  • If you don't have a fresh tomato, substitute: 1 Tbsp of tomato paste, half cup of canned tomato sauce or 1/2 cup canned whole/diced tomato. Note that canned diced tomatoes don't break down as well as fresh so you will have a bit more texture. 
  • Feel free to add another tadka/vaghaar/tempering at the end as a garnish to make it look pretty. If doing so try it with 1 tbsp ghee, 1 dry red chili and 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 403mg