Moong Dal (yellow)
Indian Recipe

This is one of the quickest and easiest types of dal to prepare. The spiced oil added at the end of cooking is called “tarka,” and gives the dal an extra boost of flavor.


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1 cup moong dal, rinsed*
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground red chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 whole dried red chilies
*This favorite lentil is available in Indian markets or online at e-stores like and
  1. Combine the dal, water, turmeric, red chile and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Adjust the heat to a medium simmer and cover with a lid.
  3. Cook until the dal is soft—approximately 25 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onions and adjust the heat to prevent burning. Cook until golden brown. (They will float in the finished dal.)
  6. Add the cumin seeds and red chilies and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour the mixture into the cooked dal and stir.
  8. Place in a serving bowl and decorate with cilantro.
Preparation Time: 
Approximately 25–30 minutes.