yellow dal

Hi foodie friends! I finally have a new recipe to share with you. To be honest, I have been cooking up a storm each Sunday, but somehow neglect to document the recipes and take the nice pictures…


But I decided to document this particular recipe because it was my first time making actual dal and I was pretty proud of myself. And if I can manage to do this, so can you.

If you are new to Indian food, you are likely wondering what this “dal” is. Dal in Indian cooking refers to lentil dishes. There are a lot of different types of dal – this one in particular, moong dal, is one of the easier ones to cook, so I would suggest starting with it!

Simple Yellow Dal


  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 2 1/2 cups of water + 1 cup
  • 2 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chopped or grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped or crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Juice of half a lemon 
  • optional: 1-2 green chilis
  • optional: chili powder


Cook the moong dal – combine it with the water and boil it in a pot on the stove until the lentils have absorbed all of the water. (A pressure cooker can be used to cook the lentils as well, but I prefer the stove top method). Once the dal has cooked, set it aside.

Place another, larger pot on the stove and set the heat to medium-high. Add the ghee, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds to the pot. Once the seeds begin to pop, add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and green chilis (if using). When the garlic and ginger have begun to soften, add the tomatoes. Stir until the tomatoes soften.

Add the turmeric, salt, pepper, and the optional chili powder. Pour in the cooked dal, and slowly begin to pour in the additional water; be mindful as the entire cup of water may not be used. Stir and allow the dal to cook until it begins to bubble, then turn the heat off.

Garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro, and serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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