Green Moong Dal (Green Gram Dal)
Make this delicious Green Moong Dal Recipe (also known as Green Gram Curry) in the pressure cooker, Instant pot or in a pot on the stovetop. Green gram also known as Mung Bean, green moong dal or whole Moong dal is a lentil that is widely used in Asian cooking. This green dal is used to make curry, stew, stir fry, soup and even sweet dishes. Green gram is also sprouted and added to Noodles and Sprouts salads. In Indian cuisine, these are mostly used to make a curry or dosa like this Pesarattu.
About Green Moong Dal
Green Moong Dal curry is a delicious Indian dish where whole mung beans (Sabut Moong) are cooked with onions, tomatoes, whole & ground spices. It is one of those dishes that is actually cooked in many regions of India.
North Indians call it as Sabut Moong Dal, the Tamil Nadu version is known as Pachai Payaru curry, the Kerala dish is known as Cherupayar Curry & the Andhra version is well-known as Pesalu kura. Surprisingly all these taste different & so delicious!
The recipe I have shared here is the simplest and it makes for a delicious, comforting and hearty meal when served over plain steamed rice or roti. Sometimes we also eat this with Jeera rice, Ghee rice or Turmeric rice.
This recipe can be prepared in a stovetop cooker, instant pot or a regular pot. I have the instructions for all these methods. If using a instant pot, you may cook the rice as well along with the curry.
Most Indians prefer to cook their lentils & legumes in a pressure cooker for convenience & for the lovely texture. A pressure cooker also helps you bypass the soaking step.
Though Green gram can be cooked without soaking, it is best to soak them for at least 3 to 4 hours prior to cooking to avoid tummy problems. The fiber-rich skin on this whole lentils is harder to digest if cooked without soaking, especially when you cook in a pot.
However to cook in the Instant pot I don’t soak them.
More Dal recipes
How to Make Green Moong Dal (Stepwise Photos)
If using instant pot, read the instructions from the recipe card below. This method is for stovetop to cook in a pot or traditional Indian pressure cooker.
1. Rinse half cup green gram very well and soak in enough water for 3 to 4 hours. If you are in a hurry you may bring 1.5 cups water to a rolling boil and turn off. Add the rinsed green dal to the hot water and let soak for at least 45 mins.
2. Prepare the following ingredients:
- ½ cup fine chopped onions (1 medium)
- ¾ cup fine chopped tomatoes (1 medium)
- 1½ teaspoons Ginger garlic paste (¾ inch ginger, 2 to 3 garlic cloves)
- 1 green chilli (Indian/ Thai or Serrano peppers) Chopped or sliced, optional
3. Measure and set aside the following:
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
Make Green Moong Dal Curry
4. Heat 1½ tablespoon ghee or oil in a pot or cooker. When the oil turns hot, add ½ teaspoon cumin & ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional). The seeds will begin to splutter, then add curry leaves or bay leaf & green chilies. Saute until a nice aroma comes out.
5. Add onions & saute until they turn golden. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute until it begins to smell aromatic.
6. Add tomatoes. Cook until they break down and turn mushy. I usually cover and cook at this stage to quicken the process.
7. Add all the ground spices and salt – red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and turmeric.
8. Saute for a minute until the masala smells good.
9. Drain the water from the green moong dal and add them here. Pour 1½ cups water for pressure cooking or 2½ cups if cooking in a pot. Soaked green gram doesn’t need a lot of water. So add carefully. If needed add more later.
10. To cook in pot, bring it to a rolling boil on a high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer them on a low to medium heat until cooked through and soft.
11. To cook in pressure cooker, cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles on a medium heat. When the pressure releases, open the lid. If the dal is runny, evaporate the excess by cooking for a little longer. If it is too thick, pour some hot water and give a stir.
I usually take off when there is little more moisture in the pot as the curry thickens when it cools down. Taste it and add more salt if needed. To thicken, mash some of the dal.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Top green gram curry with ghee & squeeze in some lemon juice. Serve it with plain rice or roti.
Green Moong Dal (Green Gram Curry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup green gram (dried whole green moong, mung beans)
- ½ cup onions fine chopped (1 medium)
- ¾ cup tomatoes deseeded & chopped or pureed (1 large)
- 1 green chili chopped (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon ginger minced or paste (¾ inch)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves minced (or ¾ teaspoon paste)
- 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1½ cups water (3 cups for pot) (1½ cups for Instant pot)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves to garnish
- Rinse and soak green gram for 3 to 4 hours. Avoid over soaking as the skin begins to separate on its own while cooking. If making in Instant pot you can skip soaking.
- Once soaked, discard the water and rinse them well.
How to Make Green Moong Dal Curry
- Heat a pan or pot or pressure cooker with oil. Add mustard seeds (optional) & cumin seeds.
- When they begins to splutter, fry curry leaves & green chilies for 1 minute.
- Add onions & saute until golden. Add the ginger garlic & fry for a minute.
- Next add tomatoes & saute until they break down and turn mushy
- Saute red chili powder, garam masala & coriander powder. Mix and saute for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Then drain water from the green gram and add it to the pot. Pour water.
- If cooking in a pot: Cook till the green gram is tender & soft. If needed add more hot water. The curry should thicken by now.
- If using a pressure cooker, cook on a medium heat for 3 whistles. When the pressure releases, open the lid.
- Next if the curry is runny, just cook further for a while until it thickens.
- Pour a teaspoon of ghee for serving. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rice or chapati.
Instant Pot Green Gram Curry
- Rinse the green moong dal well and keep immersed in fresh water until we need it later. Press saute button on your Instant pot and wait for the display to show “HOT”.
- Pour oil or ghee. Then add cumin seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds splutter, add onions and green chilli.
- Saute until the onions turn light golden. Stir in the ginger garlic & saute for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and sprinkle salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Add chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder & turmeric. Saute for 30 seconds & press cancel button.
- Then pour water and scrape the bottom of the steel insert to deglaze any bits of food stuck at the bottom.
- At this stage if you desire you can also blend the onion tomato masala using a hand blender.
- Drain water from the green gram and add them.
- Optional for cooking rice – Place a trivet and then the rice bowl. Cover the rice bowl.
- Secure the IP with the lid and position the steam release handle to sealing.
- Press pressure cook button and set the timer to 8 mins for firmer yet fully cooked lentils. For softer lentils set to 10 mins. If using dried mung beans (unsoaked) then cook them for 15 mins.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins, then release the rest manually.
- Garnish green gram dal with coriander leaves. You can also stir in some coconut milk or lemon juice if you desire.
- You may skip soaking the green gram dal. But the flavor of soaked green gram is much superior to the unsoaked ones.
- 1/4 cup coconut milk can be added towards the end.
- You can also blend 3 to 4 tbsps of fresh coconut with little water to a smooth paste and add it to the curry along with green gram.
- To finish off, you can also temper the dal with 1 tbsp ghee, a pinch of cumin, 1 dried red chilli, little red chilli powder & a pinch of hing. But the basic dal itself is delicious!
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Green Moong Dal Curry first published in November 2014. Updated and republished in December 2019.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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This recipe is fantastic. Have been using it on a rotation since many years. Sometimes I use cup coconut milk and it tastes even more wonderful. Thank you.
So happy to know Brenda. Thank you so much!
I recently found your website last year while looking for a dal recipe and got addicted to your blog. I cook regularly from here and this recipe is so easy and healthy. This time I used moth bean instead of green gram and it turned out delicious. Thank you for all the good recipes.
Happy to know you cook often from here. Yes moth bean or even black eyed peas can be used. Thank you so much!
I am a retired govt officer trying to cook my own meal. I made this curry and tasted very very good. I have followed you on facebook. Keep sending the recipes. Thank you
Hi, So glad to know it turned out good. Appreciate your time to share the outcome. Thanks for following me on FB. Yes will keep sharing recipes there.
Hello. If I make this with fresh broad beans, what is a good amount for the 1x amount? Thanks.
You can use about 1¼ to 1½ cups. If you prefer more gravy like cut down to 1 cup.
Thanks for a Great recipe , I have a mung bean recipe I’ve used for years but this one is much nicer. Soaking the beans really does make a big difference.
So glad to know you like it David.
Wow!. Love this recipe very much. Thanks for posting.
This was absolutely delicious. I would definitely blend it next time, as suggested in the recipe. also – i didn’t see the garam masala in the IP directions – should it be left out? I will add this to my list of favorites!
Thank you!. I edited to fix that.
Today I tried it .. tastes very nice Thank you Swasthi
Thank you Praveena
Glad you like it
what is red chilli powder? Is it the same as regular chilli powder or can it be substituted with this?
It is pure red chilli powder (Kashmiri red chilli powder). You can substitute with paprika
We loved the flavors. I didn’t have tomatoes so I used 1/2 a can. I followed the recipe for 3 servings but added more mung beans. It was easy to make in the instant pot.
That’s great to know! Thank you
Can’t wait to try this. I still have split green mung beans at home. Does it also work with these?
Yes you can use the split lentils too. The skin separates while cooking but still tastes good.
Thank you Swasthi for the nice recipe. I have tried it many times. It tastes very delicious. My family loves your recipes. Especially my son…
Glad you all love the recipes. Thank you so much
Hii swasthi today i made moong dal curry it turned out pretty good. My whole family loved it.
This is now my favorite dal recipe. Thank you so much!
Hi Swasthi, back again in the kitchen. For my Hawkins 5 litre, 3 whistles was not enough so I reset for 5 minutes pressure cooking. Terrific result which all the family really liked. Thank you.
Glad to know! Check Hawkins manual for the number of whistles. I guess it takes longer. Thank you
Got this recipe from my son in law n he’s loves this moong dal recipe
I am going to try it out as it’s highly recommended by my daughter too
Hi, So glad to know!
Hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for rating the recipe
Delicious as always! God Bless!
Thank you Sonia
Hi Swasthi, thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipe. Followed each steps of your receipe for Good Friday and it was delicious, cooking this again today. Thank you again
Glad to know! Thank you!
Awesome recipe, as always—I made it last Friday for my family (we’re Catholic, so we abstain from meat on Fridays), and even though I made 4x the recipe, it was all gone by Sunday evening. Definitely a winner!
So glad to know it turned out good,
Thank you so much!
The reason I love your recipes is because they’re super easy to prepare and delicious especially when you already have all the ingredients at home. As an 18 yr old your recipes have helped me cook on the spot and yes receive praises from my family ?
Glad to know the recipes are helping.
Thank you so much for leaving a comment
Thanks for the recipe, growing up my parents also added potatoes to this recipe, tastes amazing!
Love the idea of adding potatoes.
Thanks for rating the recipe