Moong Dal Tadka or Split Yellow Lentil Soup made in an instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker. This is another popular dal, similar to Toor Dal Fry, that is used for everyday cooking in India. It is a quick, easy, and nutritious, low-calorie lentil soup.

moong dal in a bowl and in a plate with rice
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Moong dal used to be my mom’s go-to dal for a quick meal. It can be prepared very quickly in just 15 minutes. It is also a great source of protein for vegetarians.

For all the fitness pals, this lentil is very low in calories. It is also extremely light and healthy. That is why this is a preferred lentil when someone is sick and recovering, as it is very easy to digest. This dal is also considered a great starter food for babies.

Moong dal is also used to make Khichdi, which is a great comfort food for Indians, and moong dal chilla, which is a wonderful protein-rich breakfast option.

Check out other popular lentil recipes: Panchmel Dal, Red Masoor Dal, Green Moong Dal, and Dal Makhani.

Watch How to Make Moong Dal Fry

What is Moong Dal (Yellow Lentils)? 

Moong dal, also called yellow moong dal, moong ki daal, or moong dhuli dal, is made from split yellow lentils. When cooked, these lentils have a mild, nutty flavor, making them perfect for soups, curries, and dals.

Besides being a tasty meal addition, moong dal offers several health benefits. 

  • It is a good source of plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients like folate, iron, and potassium. 
  • Moong dal is also low in fat, making it a healthy choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

Curious about pulses used in Indian cooking? Check out my detailed guide about Indian Pulses.


The ingredients needed for this recipe are very basic. Some people skip the onions and tomatoes when cooking these lentils and temper just with cumin and garlic.

  • Ghee or Oil: It is used to add richness and enhance the flavor of the Moong Dal Fry. Ghee adds a nutty and aromatic element, while oil provides a neutral base for cooking.
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera)They add a warm and earthy flavor to the dish, imparting a subtle nuttiness.
  • Asafoetida (Hing): It adds a unique flavor to the dish. However, it can be omitted if you are following a gluten-free diet.
  • Onion: They add depth and aroma to the dish.
  • Garlic: It adds a delicious savory note and complements the other ingredients.
  • Tomato: They provide a subtle acidity and help balance the flavors.
  • Split Yellow Lentils (Moong Dal): Split yellow lentils, also known as moong dal, form the base of this recipe. 
  • Water: It helps soften the lentils and creates a flavorful broth.
  • CilantroFresh leaves add a vibrant and refreshing touch to the dish. They provide a burst of freshness and can be used as a garnish to enhance the presentation.
  • Spices: You’ll need turmeric, red chili powder, and salt

How to cook Moong Dal in Instant Pot?

It is important to note that these split yellow lentils cook very quickly, so you must be careful that they do not get too mushy. I prefer the grainy consistency, which allows you to really taste the dal.

There are two ways to make any lentils. Traditionally, lentils were first boiled separately in water, and the tadka (tempering) was prepared separately and mixed into the boiled lentils.

The second way is to make the tadka and then add the lentils and pressure cook along with the tadka. I prefer the latter as it is a simpler one-pot recipe. Hence, I will show the latter method in this recipe.

Moong dal in a serving spoon over the instant pot
  • Start with heating ghee/oil in the instant pot. Then add cumin seeds, asafoetida, onions, and garlic.
  • Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions are lightly cooked.
  • Then add chopped tomatoes and spices.
  • Add rinsed lentils and water. There is no need to soak the lentils for this recipe.
  • Pressure Cook for 4 minutes and then release the pressure 5 minutes after the beep.
  • Garnish with cilantro and additional garam masala if you like a spice kick. Enjoy!
Cooked moong dal in instant pot garnished with cilantro

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Follow the same steps as above, and pressure cook for two whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Tips & Variations

  • You can temper the cooked dal with ghee, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes for added flavor.
  • Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your preference.
  • You can also add vegetables like spinach or diced carrots to make it a more wholesome meal.
  • Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice at the end for a tangy flavor.

Storage Suggestions

Moong Dal Fry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat on a stovetop or microwave before serving.

What to Serve with Moong Dal Fry?

Moong Dal Fry pairs well with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice, roti (Indian bread), or naan. You can also enjoy it as a comforting soup on its own.

In the picture below, I added a little ghee tempered with cumin and red chili powder, which is completely optional. It just helps to make the dal look gorgeous, and ghee always enhances the taste.

Moong dal on a plate with rice

Looking for more easy Instant Pot Recipes? Here are 29 Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes for you to try!

More Dal Recipes You’ll Love

4.90 from 112 votes

Moong Dal Fry / Split Yellow Lentils Soup – Instant Pot

Moong Dal Tadka or Split Yellow Lentils Soup made in instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker. A simple yet flavorful yellow dal tempered with cumin, garlic and spices. This is a mild everyday lentil enjoyed with rice.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4




  • Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. 
  • Once the cumin seeds start to change color, add the onions, garlic and saute for 2 minutes. 
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Stir and saute for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the washed dal and water. Stir it all up while making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position.
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 3 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually (5 minute NPR).
  • Garnish with cilantro and stir. Optionally, sprinkle the juice of half a lemon and some garam masala. Moong Dal is ready to be served.

Stovetop Method:

  • Follow the same steps as above, and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.



Calories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 13gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 602mgPotassium: 536mgFiber: 15gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 245IUVitamin C: 6.2mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 4.1mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.90 from 112 votes (82 ratings without comment)

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  1. I love this recipe. My daughter does as well. And it is so quick. I am thinking about doing Dal for breakfasts. Do you think it will freeze well?

  2. I am soooooo happy! Came out absolutely perfect and exactly how I remember it tasting when my Indian friends would make it when I was young. What memories flooded my head while eating this!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  3. Wow, excellent recipe! I used half and half – moong dal with split masoor dal. Adjust the spices to taste and everything else turned out perfect!

  4. Not sure why my experience has been so different, 1 cup yellow split peas at 4 mins on high pressure + 5 NPR was definitely not enough for cooked lentils. I tried another 4 mins on high + 5 NPR and they’re closer to done but still not there. Very confusing!

  5. Delish! I did increase diced tomato to 2 cups. Did 8 minutes and quick release, was perfect consistency for my taste. I like it with a mix of brown and wild rice.

    1. Hi Emily – Sure, you can use split green moong in this recipe. Increase pressure cooking time to 6 minutes. Hope you enjoy it!