Dal Tadka |Moong Dal

September 8, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Dal Tadka |Moong Dal

Dal Tadka |Moong Dal is a comforting, healthy, protein rich and hearty lentil dish. Mostly enjoyed with rice or roti, it is an easy dal to make. Dal is lentils and tadka is tempering. After preparing the dal, a tempering or vaghar is added on top before serving. The added garlic and smokey flavour of red chilli powder enhances the overall flavour of this dish.

For my family, dal tadka and roti is a quick go to recipe for those lazy Sunday evenings or when one needs to make something in a jiffy. While soaking the dal has its advantages, you can make it without soaking it. However, it will take a bit longer to cook.  Allowing the dal to soak for 20-30 minutes makes it so much easier to cook and also the dal turns out more creamier.

You can prepare dal tadka using any lentils of your choice like split masoor dal (puy lentils), pigeon pea dal or chana dal(chickpea dal). We like to use split moong beans, the yellow variety.



Dal Tadka is a popular Sunday meal at my sister in law’s home in UK. While my mum made it simple using only garlic, ginger and green chillis, I learned dal tadka from my sister in law. Now it has become a dish that I make at least once a week. And we prefer to have it with hot rotis. Jeera rice is another option if you prefer rice.

Sharing This Recipe With Foodies _ Redoing Old Posts

My old photos of this lentil dish were absolutely horrible, dark and not in focus at all. Well, that is understandable as I first posted this recipe on the blog on 16/08/2012. Back then I had very little knowledge of how to take food photos, all about the importance of natural light and yes taking a number of shots to pick the best ones. I would usually take one only! Updating this post on 08/09/2023 by sharing it with the group.

Some More Lentil Recipes

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Andhra Style Palak Dal is a simple, but ultra comforting and healthy dal or curry loaded with spinach. Best enjoyed with rice and a dollop of ghee.
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Dhokla is a very famous Gujarati snack whereby a batter of rice and lentils is allowed to ferment before it is steamed. Its served as a snack on its own with chutneys or as a part of a full or thali meal. I've replaced the chana dal with moong dal.
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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.
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Savaa Ni Bhaji/ Dill and Moong Dal Curry is an aromatic, flavourful curry or side dish that is usually served with hot roti, phulka, paratha or even rice. Usually prepared when dill or savaa is available in abundance. One can also prepare this healthy side dish with some potatoes or brinjals too. 
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Moong Dal Khichdi is a wholesome, comforting and nutritious meal. Enjoy it with some vegetables, kadhi, papad and sliced onion.
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Try out  Moong Dal Shorba or Moong Dal Soup. So comforting, healthy and comforting during the cold season.

Ingredients Required For Dal Tadka |Moong Dal

Moong Dal

Split moong dal the yellow variety. Wash the lentils in a strainer or by changing the water several times in a bowl. Allow the dal to soak for 20-30 minutes. This helps the dal to cook quicker. If by chance the dal is a bit old, soaking it will help it to cook.


Normal tap water is required to soak and cook the dal. May need to add more depending on how thick or thin you want the lentil curry or dal. We prefer it a bit thick so that it is easier to scoop up with roti and enjoy. For this recipe you may required 4+ cups of water for cooking.


Clarified butter. Adds a delicious flavour to the dal. For a vegan version, omit it.


Any vegetable oil for stir frying onion, garlic, ginger, chillis and tomatoes. I use sunflower oil.


Use any of your choice, red, white or yellow. I prefer using red onion. Peel and finely chop the onion to measure about 1 cup.


Peel and chop finely or mince for the dal. Peel and slice about 3-4 cloves of garlic and slice them for the tempering or vaghar.


Peeled and minced or cut into thin strips, whichever you prefer.

Green Chilli 

I prefer to add minced. You can slice them and use. Add according to your taste.


Use finely chopped 1 medium tomato. For this curry I don’t like to use the fresh tomato puree as it changes the colour of the dal.

Cumin Seeds

Required for the dal and tempering.

Red Chilli Powder

Need a bit for the tempering. Can opt to use Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder if you don’t want the dal tadka to be too hot.

Dry Red Chilli

One or two to add to the tempering.

Turmeric Powder 

Haldi, hardar. Need a bit for the dal.


Known as hing in India. Optional ingredient. If you want a completely gluten free dal then omit using hing. Or get the pure version.


Add according to your taste.

Dhana Jiru

Dhana jiru is a spice blend that is used for almost all Gujarati dishes. If you don’t have any then use 1 tsp coriander powder and ¼ tsp cumin powder.

Garam Masala 

Add according to your taste. Use homemade Garam Masala or ready made. Easily available in all Indian Stores or online.


Amchur Powder

Amchur Powder is dried raw mango powder which adds a tangy sweetish taste to the dal. Easily available in all Indian Stores and Online.

Fresh Coriander 

Use about 2-3 tbsp finely chopped. Chop the stems too as they are very flavourful.


Optional. Can serve the dal with a wedge of lemon on the side.




Watch How To Make Dal Tadka |Moong Dal



Dal Tadka |Moong Dal is a comforting, healthy, protein rich and hearty lentil dish. Mostly enjoyed with rice or roti, it is an easy dal to make. Dal is lentils and tadka is tempering. After preparing the dal, a tempering or vaghar is added on top before serving. The added garlic and smokey flavour of red chilli powder enhances the overall flavour of this dish.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
SOAKING TIME 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4



  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoeitda
  • 1 tsp dhana jiru
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 - 1¼ tsp salt
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped


  • 1 tsp ghee
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chilli
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic sliced
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder



  • Wash the dal and put it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water, ½ tsp cumin seeds and ½ tsp turmeric powder. Cook it for 1 whistles or cook in a pan till the lentils are done. If you cook in a pan, you may need more water. Moong dal cooks very easily.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add remaining ½ tsp  cumin seeds let it sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Add onions and asafoetida and stir fry till it becomes soft and becomes light brownish in colour.
  • Add minced garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add ginger and chilli paste. Stir fry for a while.
  • Add chopped tomato and remaining ½ tsp turmeric powder.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or till the tomato becomes soft.
  • Add the remaining turmeric powder and dhana jiru.
  • Add the cooked lentils, salt and remaining water.
  • Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add garam masala and amchur powder and mix well. The dal is ready.


  • Heat ghee in a small pan for tempering.
  • Add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the sliced garlic.
  • Stir fry over low heat till the garlic begins to turn light brown.
  • Add the whole dry red chilli and mix.
  • Add the chilli powder and immediately take the pan off the heat.
  • Pour the tadka on the dal.


  • Serve dal tadka with plain rice, jeera rice, roti or paratha.


  • Can add lemon juice  instead of amchur powder if you want to.
  • Add more water if the curry becomes too thick.
    Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • The dal will become thick as it rests. Add a bit of water when you heat it up.
  • Can be prepared a day ahead. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • This dal freezes well and stays good for a month. Add the tempering or tadka just before serving.
Keyword dal tadka, dill and moong dal curry, moong dal, tadka dal

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A Little Request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962







  • Renu

    September 22, 2023 at 7:12 am

    5 stars
    Blogging teaches you so many things, photography is one of them. My too earlier pics were in a hurry and just 1 and I use to post, but that was when I used to share only with family. The clicks are super tempting, wish to have some now.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2023 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. We are always learning new things. This is what I love about blogging.

  • Kalyani

    September 22, 2023 at 8:15 am

    5 stars
    Dhana-Jiru to Dal TAdka is new for me… I will try your version soon, Mayuri. We love this with Peas Pulav or plain steamed rice with some kachumber and achaar on the side.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2023 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks Kalyani. Gujjus love their dhana jiru. So it goes in almost all my dishes.

  • Archana

    September 23, 2023 at 9:46 am

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious Dal tadka with moong dal. I must make some following your recipe it sounds perfect for us. Thanks.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2023 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you Archana. Enjoy when you try out the recipe.

  • Jayashree T Rao

    October 13, 2023 at 4:12 am

    5 stars
    Dal Tadka is a comfort meal for us. it is ideal with booth rice and chapati. Hubby will love this one, will make it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 13, 2023 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree. It is comfort food for sure.

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