Spicy Moong Tadka

Dals are an integral part of my life; my Dad hails from Delhi, and he grew up eating a very many varieties of dals, especially the North-Indian styles. After my parents got married and moved to Mumbai, the dal-eating habit traveled with them, and was soon inculcated into our daily diet; something that has continued over the years. And while we have different kind of dals with rice, some traditional Bengali ones too, we like to have some ‘tadke-wali dali’ with our rotis at night.

Over the years, I’ve picked up some family recipes of dal from my mother’s aunt, who was married to a Punjabi, and even some Maharashtrian and South Indian style dals. This one is a simple, yet tasty Moong dal recipe that I learnt from my Nani (maternal grandmother), and then gave it my own twist.


Spicy Moong Tadka


  • Dhuli Moong dal/Split Yellow Lentils – 2 cups (500 gms)
  • Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato paste – of 1 large tomato
  • Green chili paste – of 3 to 4 chilies (adjust according to heat preference) 
  • Curry leaves – a handful 
  • Curry powder – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Dried red chilies – for tadka
  • Birista/Fried onion – for garnish
  • Fried raisins and cashews – for garnish
  • Methi/Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp for tadka


  1. In a large, deep-bottomed kadhai, heat 2 tbsp of ghee, and let it smoke well. 
  2. Add the methi seeds, and once they sputter, add the whole red chilies and curry leaves.
  3. Don’t fry them too much, and after a few seconds, add the ginger-garlic, tomato and green chili paste. 
  4. Fry the masala for a few seconds on low flame, and add the curry powder, turmeric and Kashmiri red chili powder.
  5. Once the masala changes colour and leaves the ghee, add the washed moong dal. (You may boil the dal to save time, but I prefer to bhuno the dal with the masalas first) 
  6. Now season with salt, sugar and garam masala, and for 5 to 7 minutes, roast the dal with the masalas well.
  7. Now add water, almost 6 to 8 cups, enough to submerge the dal, and let it boil in the kadhai itself. (Alternately, you may pressure cook the dal now, with the masalas, but I prefer this method of boiling the dal. It took me 20 minutes for the dal to soften well)
  8. Once dal has absorbed most of the water, check consistency and seasonings and adjust water to make dal thick and soupy.
  9. Lastly, garnish with some onions, cashews and raisins fried in the reserved ghee, and serve hot.. 🙂



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sreeparna says:

    Sounds awesome Trisha!

    Liked by 1 person

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