To me, dishes like moong dal are the real, Indian comfort foods. This is what was made on a regular basis at home. Now I recreate this dish for my family but of course I've made my changes to the original recipe. Now it's an Instant Pot green moong dal recipe instead the traditional pressure cooker. But believe me, it is not lacking any flavor or even more importantly texture. It is still the perfect comfort meal, just quicker and easier to prepare! I can get this lentil dish on the table in under 30 minutes!
Most green moong dal recipes are very soupy. This recipe is makes a thicker curry base. It uses a little less water than most recipes. But I feel it is even more flavorful and the texture of the lentils really comes through perfectly. Since they are not diluted in the additional water.
What ingredients do you need for Green Moong Dal?
- Green Moong Dal - or lentils, they are also known as mung beans or green grams. These lentils are packed with protein and are relatively low in carbs.
- Veggies - onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger
- Tempering - cumin seeds, hing
- Spices - Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Garam Masala, Red Chili Pepper
- Jaggery - an unrefined sweetener from pure cane sugar
- Tamarind - Tamarind will give you the perfect tang to this hearty dish. If you have tamarind paste, you can use it as is and throw it right into the dal. If you have the tamarind pulp, soak it in warm water for a few minutes then squeeze out the juice and discard the fibers.
What special equipment is needed for this recipe?
This recipe is entirely done in the Instant Pot! I just love how easy it comes together!! Dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes.
How to make Moong Dal in the Instant Pot?
Soak the moong dal lentils in water for at least an hour.
I like to start on saute mode in the Instant Pot and season the oil with the tempering ingredients before adding the dal, veggies and other ingredients.
Next add in the lentil and veggies into the instant pot. Now its also important to get the water ratio correct. I like to use 1:2 ratio of dal to water, so its 1 cup of moong dal to 2 cups of water. This moong dal to water ratio makes a very creamy dish without becoming soupy. Pressure cook for 8 minutes with natural pressure release for perfectly cooked lentils.
Finish the moong dal with a little tamarind pulp for a tangy flavor and jaggery for sweetness: khatta meeta (sweet and sour!)
What to serve Green Moong Dal with?
For me, I can't resist a couple scoops of green moong dal with some nice, hot, basmati rice. Basmati rice is so fragrant on its own that you really don't need anything else. But of course I also can't say no to some additional accompaniments like: yogurt, spicy pickled achaar and some fresh veggies like cucumbers, thinly sliced onions.
Another option is roti, naan or parathas. Quick Pickled Red Onions are a great topping for these lentils as well.
If you liked this Instant Pot Green Moong Dal recipe, you might also be interested in these authentic Indian recipes:
- Instant Pot Dudhi Chana Dal (Bottle Gourd and Lentil Curry)
- Restaurant Style Instant Pot Chana Masala
- Instant Pot Spinach Khichdi
- Easy Spiced Masoor Lentils
Instant Pot Green Moong Dal
- Instant Pot
- 1 cup green moong dal
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- asafoetida pinch
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1 tomato chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 juice of 1 lime optional
- cilantro chopped, optional
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons jaggery
- 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- In a large bowl, soak the moong dal with 2 cups of water for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- In a small bowl, add the tamarind to about ½ cup of warm water. Let it soak while the moong dal is cooking.
- After the moong dal is ready, set the Instant Pot to saute on high, add the oil. After about 1 minute add the cumin seeds and allow to toast in the oil. Sprinkle in the asafeotida and stir.
- Add the chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stir well, cook for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and stir. Add all of the spices, salt.
- Drain the moong dal and add to the instant pot. Add 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, set to pressure cook for 8 minutes. After it has cooked, natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
- Squeeze the tamarind pulp into the water. Discard the tamarind fibers. Add in strained tamarind pulp and jaggery into the moong dal, stir to combine.
- Add cilantro and lime juice for garnish if using. Serve warm with buttered rotis or basmati rice.