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Stovetop moong dal over basmati rice in a large bowl.

Moong Dal without Pressure Cooker

  • Author: Shri Repp
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This simple and creamy moong dal recipe comes together on the stove in minutes --no pressure cooker or instant pot needed. It's a great dal recipe full of delicious flavor.


  • 1/2 cup  - Split moong dal (100g)
  • 1 1/2 cups  - Water
  • 1/4 tsp -  Turmeric
  • 2 tsp - Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp - Melted ghee or butter, unsalted
  • 2 tsp - Lemon juice (Optional)
  • Cilantro for garnish (Optional)
  • Cooked Basmati Rice or Roti(Optional) 


  1. Wash the moong dal: Add moong dal to a pot that has a lid and bring over to your sink. Fill the pot halfway with water and swish and lightly scrub the dal with your fingers to release the excess starch in the dal. Drain the cloudy water and repeat this process until the water is fairly clear and drain once more.
  2. To the pot of dal, add water, turmeric and oil. Place it on the stovetop on medium high and allow for it to come to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, cover the pot with its lid, and allow the dal to cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  3.  Once the time is up, remove the lid from the dal. The dal should be cooked through and should be mushy to the touch. If not, cook the dal for a bit longer. 
  4. Once dal is cooked, add salt and ghee. Use either a whisk, or a wooden spoon to mix up the dal until it becomes a creamy homogenized dish. Taste your dal and add more salt as needed. You can optionally squeeze some lemon juice, add a dollop of ghee, and garnish with cilantro! Enjoy with basmati rice or roti.


  • If the water starts to run low when you are cooking the dal, you can add 1/4 cup of water to the pot at a time to the pot. If there is too much water at the end of your cooking process, first try whisking your dal. This helps thicken and emulsify the water and fats in the dal to create a creamy texture. However, if the dal is still too watery, allow the dal to simmer with the lid uncovered  
  • Read this blog post for dal alternatives.
  • This is a very basic and simple dal recipe that is a good starting point. If you want to add a layer of depth to your dal you can add a finishing oil or tadka to it. To do this, simply heat oil or ghee in a sauce pan, add aromatics of your choice like cumin seeds, curry leaves, or even garlic to the oil to heat and infuse the oil. Pour oil/ghee over the dal to add layers of flavor. You may also like this recipe for spinach dal.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Moong Dal without Pressure Cooker