Green gram curry recipe with Instant pot & stovetop instructions – Green gram also known as mung bean 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.
Since green gram are whole lentils with the skin, it is good to soak them for atleast 3 to 4 hours to avoid tummy problems. Soaking also cuts down the cook time and gives a better texture to your final dish.
This is one legume that doesn’t need long soaking. However they can also be cooked without soaking.
Green gram curry can be made in a pot or Instant pot. For many years I have made this in a pot as it is easy to watch them so they don’t overcook.
I have been using Instant pot for over a year so I made this a lot of times in it. I have updated this post with IP instructions too. If making in the IP you can also cook your rice along with the green gram curry.
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. Rinse half cup green gram very well and soak in enough water for 3 to 4 hours. Chop onions, tomatoes and chilies.
How to make green moong dal curry
1. 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. Saute until a nice aroma comes out. Then add ¾ teaspoon ginger & ¾ teaspoon garlic (chopped or paste). Saute for 1 to 2 mins until the ginger garlic smells good.
2. Add 1 large onion finely chopped and 1 chopped green chili (optional). Saute until the onions turn golden.
3. Then add
- 2 medium tomatoes (chopped or pureed)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric. Cook until they break down and turn mushy. I usually cover and cook at this stage to quicken the process.
4. Then add the following spice powders:
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
5. Saute for a minute until the masala smells good.
6. Drain the water from the green gram and add them here. Mine were over-soaked and even began to sprout slightly.
7. Pour 1½ cups water (or just enough to cover them). Soaked green gram doesn’t need a lot of water. So add carefully. If needed add more later.
To cook in pot, cover and simmer them on a low to medium heat until cooked through and soft.
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.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Top green gram curry with ghee & squeeze in some lemon juice. Serve it with plain rice or roti.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup green gram (dried whole green moong, mung beans)
- ¾ to 1 cup onions fine chopped (1 large)
- ¾ cup tomatoes pureed or chopped (2 medium)
- 1 green chili chopped (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon ginger minced or paste (¾ inch)
- 2 garlic cloves minced (or ¾ teaspoon paste)
- 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf
- 1½ tablespoons oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or jeera
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder (or garam masala powder)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1½ cups water (more for pot) (1½ cups for Instant pot)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
How to make the recipe
- 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.
- Discard the water and rinse them well.
How to make green gram 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 for 1 minute. Add the ginger garlic & fry for a minute.
- Add onions and green chilli. Fry till transparent.
- Next add tomato, salt and turmeric. Fry till the tomatoes blend well with onions and turn mushy.
- Saute red chili powder, garam masala & coriander powder. Mix and fry for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Then drain water from the green gram and add it to the pot. Pour water just enough to cover them.
- If cooking in a pot: Cook till the green gram is tender & soft. If needed add more 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.
- Squeeze in some lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rice or chapati.
Instant pot green gram curry
- 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, 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.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- 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.
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.