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Everyday Moong Dal

Everyday Moong Dal 4.000

(Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Nichole Bryant for the Washington Post)

Essential Cookbooks Newsletter Jun 5, 2020

A pulse- or legume-based simmer that’s somewhere between a soup and a porridge, dal is a staple of Indian cuisine made here with split yellow lentils (or moong/mung beans). It’s a major source of protein and, when served with rice (or bread) and yogurt, a formula that dates to ancient times and can be seen, in multiple iterations, on Indian tables worldwide. It’s the sort of soothing, bolstering basic you can crank out — and will want to eat — every day.

This recipe is from Week 2 of Voraciously's Essential Cookbooks newsletter series. For more recipes like this one, sign up here. It appears as published by Jaffrey in "At Home With Madhur Jaffrey," with minor edits for clarity.

Where to Buy: Asafetida is available at Indian markets, specialty spice stores and online.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup (7 ounces) moong dal (hulled and split mung beans, or yellow split lentils), washed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 to 2 dried hot red chiles (the short cayenne type)
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and cut into slivers


Put the dal in a medium pot and add 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Skim off the white froth and add the turmeric and stir. Cover partially, turn the heat to a gentle simmer and cook 45 minutes. Add the salt and stir. Turn off the heat.

Pour the oil into a small frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida, cumin seeds and chiles, quickly, in that order. As soon as the chiles darken, a matter of seconds, add the shallot. Stir and cook until the shallots brown, and then quickly pour the contents of the frying pan over the cooked dal and stir.

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Recipe Source

From "At Home With Madhur Jaffrey" by Jaffrey (Knopf, 2010)

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Avg. Rating (4)

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 164

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 5g 8%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 298mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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