Learn how to make comforting dhaba style moong dal with my trusty recipe. This wholesome dal is packed with nutrients and flavours and is perfect for a quick and tasty lunch!
Today we bring to you - authentic dhaba style moong dal (green gram). Don't go by appearances, because this is not your same old boring working lunch! Though dal is a really simple dish, we've added tadkas and seasoning to spruce it up. So it tastes familiar and comforting, just like moong dal that you get at roadside Punjabi dhabas!
Green Gram - Tasty and Healthy
We used split green gram with skin for this yellow dal recipe. In Hindi, it’s called chilke wali moong dal. Moong dal is easily digestible and full of nutrients. It also absorbs flavours really well, so we have that to our advantage!
How To Pack Flavours Into Moong Dal
The beauty of making dal is that such few ingredients come together to make such a satisfying comforting meal.
- Dollops of fresh desi ghee for an extra buttery flavour
- Fresh ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes are staples of Indian food and add flavour and texture to the dal
- We used coriander powder and chilli powder, and a pinch of garam masala to spice up this dal
Tempering/ Tadka For Moong Dal
The tempering or tadka is such an important part of infusing flavours into a dish! Lots of garlic toasted in desi ghee with some chillies, cumin seeds, and curry leaves add SO MUCH FLAVOUR to this dal.
Note: Make sure to fry the garlic till golden brown first and then add the remaining ingredients. Garlic takes longer to fry, and the other aromatics will burn if you add them too early. Plus, slowly frying the garlic will infuse the oil or ghee with more flavour. So when hot tadka mixes with the dal, the flavours are brilliant.
Richa's Top Tips
- Moong dal is available in three varieties - whole, split, and skinned. The skinned variety is the fastest to cook and easiest to digest. We used split green gram with the skin in this recipe because we love the flavour and texture. You can use the other varieties too, but the cooking time would differ
- Cook the dal in a pressure cooker till it's tender. It should easily mash with the back of a spoon
- Smash garlic with the skin on and fry it for that extra garlicky flavour. However, this is optional, you can also chop up garlic slivers and add them.
- If you want to make this dal extra spicy, you can add chili powder to the tadka!
Pro Tip: When making any kind of dal, don't think twice before adding those extra dollops of ghee! Ghee makes any dish taste richer and gives a creamy mouth feel. You can add ghee to the dal and to the tadka too!
Here's my guide to making The Best Homemade Desi Ghee!
More Dhaba Style Recipes
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Dhaba Style Moong Dal
- 2 tablespoons Ghee
- 2 teaspoons chopped Ginger
- ½ cup chopped Onion
- 2 Tomatoes finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup split Moong Dal washed
- 1 ½ cups Water
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 3 tablespoons chopped Coriander
- 2 tablespoons Oil/Ghee
- 5 Garlic Cloves skin on, smashed
- 2-3 Green Chillies
- 2-3 whole dried Red Chillies
- 1 teaspoon Jeera
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add chopped ginger and onions. Saute for a few minutes till the onions turn translucent
- Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes become pulpy and the spices aren’t raw.
- Traditional Pressure Cooker: Add moong dal and water and pressure cook on medium flame for 5 whistles.
- Instant Pot: If using an Instant pot, cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
- Check to make sure the dal is cooked through - you should be able to smash it easily with the back of a spoon.
- Keep the dal on a slow simmer and mix garam masala and coriander.
- In another pan, heat oil or ghee. Add smashed garlic cloves and saute till they turn golden brown. Add green chillies, whole red chillies and jeers (be careful as these will splutter). Once the jeera starts spluttering, add the curry leaves and turn off the flame. Swirl the pan once or twice and add this tadka to the dal. Serve hot.
- Moong dal (split green gram) are easily available at Indian stores
- Feel free to adjust the spice levels based on your tastes by reducing the green chillies
- Swap out ghee with vegetable or neutral oil to make this a vegan recipe.
- Garam Masala: I use homemade garam masala, but you can substitute it with any store bought garam masala. Please note that garam masala is different from curry powder