A Mother’s Hug with Yellow Moong Dal Stew -

Cooking Time: Pressure Cooker: 20 minutes | In a Pan: 30 – 40 minutes Serves:4 people

Gluten-Free & Can be made Vegan if you skip the Ghee

Yellow Moong beans are split lentils that are yellow in color and one of the easiest dal to make. This dal is also known as the Indian version of ‘Chicken Soup.’ As a kid when I got sick, my mother would often just boil the Moong beans which have all the essential vitamins and minerals and serve it to me with Rice with a generous quantity of Ghee.

Her dish didn’t have too many spices, nor does it look great, but we all know that looks do not matter when one needs comfort. And having a bowl of this dal is genuinely nourishing for your body and soul. The beauty of this dal is its simplicity and subtle flavours, and it smells utterly divine.

I am not sure whether it was my mother’s love or the dal really did have nutritious properties, but it always managed to perk me up. Even now as an adult, when I get sick, I find myself craving for a bowl of Moong Dal. The only thing that is missing is the warm, loving hug that would accompany the dal after every spoonful from my mother’s hands. As they say, a mother’s hug lasts long after she lets go.


For the Dal:

  • 1 cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder 1 ½ tsp
  • 5 cups water (if cooking in a pot. If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, 3 cups of water should suffice)
  • 1 large Tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil or Ghee

For the tempering

  • 2 tsp Ghee or Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves of Garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder/Paprika powder

For the Garnish

  • Lemon Wedges
  • Freshly chopped Coriander
  • Rinse the dal thoroughly under cold running water and soak it for 10 minutes. This is an
  • essential step in preparing a Dal and one that should never be missed.

Cooktop method:

  1. Put the soaked dal in a saucepan with 5 cups of water, salt, and Turmeric. Give it a stir and let it cook for 20 minutes until it is almost done. You need to ensure that the dal is not mushy or overcooked.
  2. In another pan heat 1 tsp of Vegetable Oil or Ghee and cook the chopped Tomatoes till soft. Add them to the Dal and let it come to a rolling boil. Once you are happy with the consistency of the dal turn off the heat.
  3. When ready to serve heat 2 tsp of Oil or Ghee in a small pan. Add the Garlic and cook for a few seconds till slightly brown. Add the cumin seeds and red chili powder and add this tempering to the dal. Let the dal boil for a few minutes on a low flame till the flavors of the tempering are soaked in.
  4. Garnish the dal with lots of freshly chopped coriander and serve it with a bowl of plain White rice or Indian bread. Squeeze the lemon on the dal just before you eat it to give it the extra tang.

Pressure Cooker Method:

Put the soaked dal in a pressure cooker with 2.5 cups of water, chopped Tomatoes, Turmeric, and salt. Cook for 10 minutes.

Once the pressure releases check the consistency of the Dal. If it is too watery or not thoroughly cooked, you can cook it in the cooker without the lid for a few minutes.

Follow step 3 and 4 above when ready to serve

Tip: To make this Dal even more special, you can garnish it with fried dried shallots.
You can also add some vegetables like carrot, zucchini and pumpkin while boiling this dal to make it hearty and wholesome.