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.

Ingredients

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 111 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

Ingredients 

Spices

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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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76 Comments

    1. My reply “yes, same thing” was to Megan’s question about split yellow mung bean. Yes it’s the same as the specific split yellow lentil (ie moong dal) used in this recipe. I don’t know why my original response appeared as a comment and not as a response under her query. Maybe it’ll correct itself.

    2. Thanks .Meeta!!
      Iam a grateful that you have this recipe posted …it’s simple and quick way to make e …and Tues out delicious.
      Thanksagain.
      Sibi

  1. When I went to to the store to get the moong dal, the bag said split yellow mung bean. Is that the same thing is as split yellow lentil? My kids love dal so I’m sure excited to try it!

  2. How do you double this recipe? Made a batch per your instructions and it was delicious but would love to make more at once. TY.

    1. Hi Nikita – Happy to hear you enjoyed the dal. If you are using a 6qt or bigger pot, you can double the recipe. The cooking time will remain the same.

  3. Excellent daal recipe! Made it in instapot after long day at work! It was so quick and so delicious! Thanks!

    1. Hi Neha – You are right. This recipe works great with 2 minutes pressure cooking and 10 minutes of pressure release too. So either method will give good results.

  4. I love all your recipes and follow your Instagram. I’m so grateful, thank you.

    Whenever I make this recipe I get a burn message on my instapot. Do you have any thoughts on how to prevent that?

    1. Hi – So sorry to hear you have been getting a burn with this recipe. Are you using an 8qt by any chance? I would suggest that after adding the lentils and water, scrape the bottom of the pot well making sure nothing is stuck. Also, you can add 1/2 cup extra liquid if using an 8qt instant pot. Thank you for trying my recipes ❤️

  5. If I wanted to make this so that it was a little thinner (more broth) could I just add an extra cup of water? thank you

    1. Hi Rachel – Sure, before pressure cooking you can add an extra cup of water to the dal. If you have already cooked the dal, you can still make it thinner by adding a cup of hot water. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. I have made this recipe probably 25+ times over the past two years. I eat this at least once a month, sometimes when I’m too busy I just eat it for lunch and dinner. I live mostly plant based and this awesome recipe helps me get my protein and fibre in, the most tasty way possible. Thanks so much for this recipe, I love Indian food and have tried many recipes for dishes like this. After a few failed attempts at other recipes, I was ecstatic when I tasted this dish.

    1. Hi Marilyn – To make this without the instant pot, I would suggest to add the lentils with about 4 cups of water to a pot, and heat it on medium flame. Once they come to a boil, reduce the flame to low and cook until the lentils are soft (about 15 minutes total).

      In a separate pan, prepare the tempering as mentioned at the start of the recipe with onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices. Then add this tempering to the cooked lentils. Mix well. Adjust the consistency of the dal if needed. Hope you enjoy the dal!

    1. hi Priyanka – Sorry for the confusion. You are right, It is press cancel. I have updated the instructions.