Yellow Moong Dal (Yellow Lentil) recipe

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This Yellow Moong Dal recipe is an easy to make Indian yellow gram curry for your everyday meals. It is a common healthy dish in most Indian households. Serve this dal with rotis or rice.

As Indians, we’ve grown up eating dal almost every week. It’s one of the most widely eaten dishes in Indian diet; a staple food for every household. For vegetarians, it is usually accompanied by some yummy pickle and a bit of rice, rotis, naans, or bread. Non-vegetarians eat it with fried fish, fried brinjal, or some other side dish. The combination is just delicious!

Dal is also a perfect vegetarian one-pot dish. And just for anyone who’s looking for yellow dal soup. Here in India, dal is never a soup. It’s always a curry! So if someone tells you they’ve got a wonderful recipe for yellow lentil soup, it’s not Indian. No way!

This is my mom’s easy moong dal recipe. Try it!

What ingredients do you need to make yellow Moong Dal?

To make this perfect yellow lentil dal in the Indian style, you’ll need Yellow Moong Dal aka Yellow Split Gram, oil, mustard seeds, tomatoes, chilies, salt, curry leaves, turmeric, and fresh coriander.

How to cook Yellow Moong Dal?

Rinse and soak the Yellow Moong Dal in cold water for about 1 hour. Drain the water before adding it to the vessel.

Picture of Yellow Moong Dal in a blue bowl
Yellow Moong Dal
Picture of Yellow lentils called Moong dal soaking in water in a blue bowl
Allow the Moong Dal to soak in water

Chop the tomatoes, curry leaves, chillies and coriander and set aside.

Tomatoes, chilles, curry leaves and coriander on the chopping board
Tomatoes, chilies, curry leaves and coriander
Chopped tomatoes, chilies, coriander and curry leaves on a chopping board
Chopped ingredients

In a vessel, heat oil and add the rai or mustard seeds. Allow it to sizzle till it starts to crinkle your nose.

Oil and mustard seeds in a vessel
Heat oil and add mustard seeds

Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander, curry leaves and green chilies and stir fry for about 5 minutes.

Chopped tomatoes, chillies, curry leaves and coriander added to the vessel
Add chopped tomatoes, chilies, coriander and curry leaves

Next, add the yellow split gram aka moong dal, salt and water.

Moong Dal, salt and water added to the vessel containing chopped chillies, tomatoes and coriander
Add Moong dal, salt and water

Also add turmeric powder and cook on a high flame for 15 minutes. Turmeric lends the yellow colour and is also a very healthy Indian spice.

Turmeric added to moong dal
Add turmeric and cook

When the dal is ready; sprinkle with fresh coriander, and serve with rice rotis or pav. You can optionally add a teaspoon of ghee (Indian clarified butter) on top. It enhances the flavour but isn’t a necessity. For regular days, we don’t add it. But if there are guests coming over for veg meals, dollops of ghee go on top.

Ready moong dal curry sprinkled with fresh coriander
Sprinkle fresh coriander and serve

What’s perfect about this Easy Yellow Dal Recipe?

  • This yellow dal is simple and easy and to make, and goes well with rice, rotis, or pav. (Pav is a type of Indian bun made with yeast.)
  • Moong dal is the perfect main dish for a side-dish of pickle, fried fish, or fried vegetables.
  • This moong dal recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. (If you add the optional ghee, it’s not vegan.)

Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse the dal to get rid of any stray husks or other debris before soaking.
  • You can add a tablespoon of ghee just before serving to enhance the taste.
  • Do not cook too long or the dal will get mushy.
  • Serve with a side of fried brinjal or green chutney.

FAQ’s about Moong Dal or Indian Yellow Lentils

What is Yellow Moong Dal?

Yellow Moong Dal is a Green Gram (Green Moong) that has been skinned and split.

Can you make dal without a pressure cooker?

Yes, follow this recipe.

Can you eat dal every day?

Yes, dal is healthy and easily digestible. Many Indian households eat it daily.

Is dal the curry or the lentil?

In India, dal can be used to mean two different things. First, the split lentils are called dals. For example, split mung is called moong dal or yellow lentils. Split red lentils are called masoor dal. Split bengal gram or chickpeas are called chana dal. Split black lentils that are skinned are called urad dal. Split pigeon peas are called toor dal. Secondly, dal is also the name of the dish prepared from these lentils. So for instance, a curry prepared with yellow lentils is called moong dal, or a curry prepared with red lentils is called masoor dal, and so on.

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Ready moong dal curry sprinkled with fresh coriander

Yellow Moong Dal Recipe

Yellow Moong Dal is an easy to make Indian curry recipe for your everyday meals. Try this split yellow lentil curry for a real taste of India.
5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Hindu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 6 people


  • 250 g Yellow Moong Dal
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 6 Green Chillies Green
  • 8 Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds (Rai) (Rai)
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 500 ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Ghee Optional


  • Soak the yellow moong dal in water for 1 hour. Drain this water and discard.
  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds till you get a good nose-crumpling aroma.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chilies, curry leaves and coriander, and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add moong dal, salt, water and turmeric and cook for 15 mins on high flame.
  • Once, ready sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander and serve.
  • Optionally, add two tablespoons of ghee (Indian clarified butter) on top. It adds a lot of flavor.

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  • Rinse the dal to get rid of any skins before soaking in cold water.
  • Adding a tablespoon or two of ghee before serving enhances the taste.
  • This yellow dal goes well with some fried brinjal or green chutney.
Pinterest image of Yellow Split Gram in a white bowl
Pinterest image of Indian Yellow Moong Dal in a white bowl
Pinterest image with pic of tomatoes and chillies on top and pic of yellow dal, chopped tomatoes and chillies at the bottom

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