Mag Ni Dal

October 25, 2012mayurisjikoni



Mag Ni Dal or Gujarati Mag Ni Chutti Dal is a popular way of preparing moong dal, the yellow variety. Usually prepared with just a few spices and without any gravy or curry. Gluten free and vegan, Mag Ni Dal is served with kadhi and plain rice.

Mag Ni Chutti Dal, kadhi and plain rice with a bit of ghee is my all time comfort food. Whenever we make kadhi and plain rice, a legume or dal is prepared to go with it and the rice. Sometimes, whole green moong are cooked dry, we make dry val ni dar. Also tuvar ni dal is cooked a bit dryish. Rarely is kadhi and plain rice served on its own. Chutti in Gujarati means separate. Therefore, technically the dal should not be mushy.


This group started by Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu, helps us to redo old posts, be it with photos, writing or even updated versions of the recipe.

In fact, a few days ago I made fajeto, which is basically kadhi with ripe mango puree added to it. To go with it, I made mag ni dal or mag ni dar after ages. Just as well I remembered to click photos, allowing me to update this very old post of mine.

First published on 25/10/2012, updated on 13/05/2022


Growing up remember my mum would make KADHI on Sundays with khichdi, Tuesdays and Fridays or Saturdays depending on the sweet dish. Generally, Tuvar Ni Dar was made on Mondays and Fridays.Specifically, Aakha Mag was prepared on Wednesdays. She would say “pehla dabo mukwano che.”

For this reason, 2 to 3 different steel containers were put in a bigger tin with some water and closed with a lid. One container would have  rice, another one would have dal and a third one some vegetable that needed to be boiled like potatoes or bottle gourd, cluster beans or drumsticks. Incidentally, all three would cook at the same time.

Actually, there was science applied to this dabo system, the dal container right at the bottom, the rice in the middle and vegetable on top. Then the dabo would be placed on a jiko or sigri, sagri. Whenever, she needed to put dal to prepare the dry version, it would be soaked, spices added with tempering and then steamed to perfection.

As a matter of fact, the tin or dabo was a tall tin in which cottonseed oil use to come. After it gets over, the top bit was cut off, washed and dabo was ready. As a cover a round steel or aluminum plate was used on which a mortar and pestle was placed so that the steam stays in the tin.

Nowadays we don’t prepare a dabo, we put everything separately on all the burners of the stove. Or we use the pressure cooker.


Can I Use Moong Dal With Skin?

Actually, I do sometimes. Generally, I wash and soak the dal for a while and cook it with the skin. Though it may not look pretty, it is nutritious and full of dietary fibre.

Do I Need To Soak The Dal?

Indeed, it is better to soak the dal in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This way the cooking time is reduced.

Can I Cook The Dal In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes you can. Add the tempering, spices and little water. Then, cook only for 1 whistle if the dal has been soaked. More whistles will make it mushy. Also add very little water.

Can I Use The Leftover?

Store any leftover in the fridge in an airtight container. Warm it up and enjoy it the next day on its own, with some rice or use it up to make thepla or masala paratha. Sometimes I cook spinach or fresh dill (suva) and add the dal. A good makeover from a leftover.






Mag Ni Dal is a Gujarati lentil dish that is prepared a bit dry with few spices. It is usually served with kadhi and plain rice.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gujarati, Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 cup split yellow green gram yellow moong dal
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida optional
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp coriander cumin powder
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander chopped


  • Wash the dal in water 3-4 times.
  • Soak the dal in 1 cup warm water for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • When it is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to sizzle, add asafoetida, turmeric powder, ginger and green chilli pastes.
  • Stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add and the dal with the water, slowly.
  • Add salt and mix well.
  • Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.
  • Cook the lentils till done. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • When done, remove from the pan from the heat. Add the dhana jiru and red chilli powder.
  • Add fresh coriander.
  • Serve hot with rice and kadhi.


If the dal is not done in 7-10 minutes add a bit more water and let it cook.
Dhana jiru is readily available in most Indian shops. If you want to make it at home, click here.
Can add chopped garlic if you want to.
Use the leftover dal to make theplas, or add cooked spinach or suva (dill) to make a delicious sabji.
Keyword gujarati mag ni dal, mag ni chutti dal, mag ni dal


A little request:

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  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    May 21, 2022 at 5:03 am

    5 stars
    I am so glad you have posted this recipe. I have attempted this recipe a couple of times and ended up mashing them. Thanks for the video format too that was a perfect explanation of what needs to be fixed.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2022 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much Seema, am so glad that you found the post and video very useful.

  • Renu

    May 26, 2022 at 2:04 am

    5 stars
    Making this chutti dal is not easy as it has to come out with a perfect texture. You have made it like a pro with each and every dal grain cooked so nicely and it is looking rich and creamy too. I love that rice on the side as well, and cannot get my eyes off. Bookmarking this to try soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2022 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. If the dal is old it takes a while to cook. Otherwise, after 2-3 trials am sure you will find it easy to cook it.In Kenya sometimes I add just enough water to cover the dal and cook for one whistle.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    May 26, 2022 at 4:15 am

    5 stars
    Love this mag ni dal. My version is a bit different, will soon make your kind. The good thing is mung lentil cooks fast too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2022 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks Jayashree. I think that is why it is a common dal made by Gujaratis as it cooks fast and goes well with kadhi and rice.

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