How To Make Indian Dal

by Jackie Wicks

Dal is a South Asian term to describe split peas, beans and lentils. The word “Dal” means split. Dal is a staple of South Asia, and forms a complete protein when paired with rice. (Pea-rice protein combos have been around for a while!)

Hence the popular dish of rice and dal, which over a billion people eat on a daily basis. The common yellow colored dal that is commonly eaten in South Asia is made from Split Mung Beans, and called Mung Dal. Mung Dal is starting to be sold throughout the US.  You can find it at natural foods stores, larger Whole Foods stores and also on Amazon.

Split Mung Dal is also what my mom made for me growing up. What is great about this recipe is that once you learn the basics, you can customize it any way you want. You can make it spicy or bland. You can put a few vegetables in there or a ton.

If you make a big enough portion it can sit in your fridge for a week. You can also freeze it in individual servings.

How To Make Indian Dal:

The core of the recipe is simple. You take one cup of dried Mung Dal, and wash them in a large bowl. Once you drain them, put it in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then skim the white foam that will appear on the surface of the water.

After you have removed the foam, you add a 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric, and a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. This recipe is an easy way to start getting a ton of turmeric and cumin in your diet, which is something that we strongly recommend for PEERtrainer members. Spices are excellent for your brain and your overall health.

This takes about 40 minutes to cook on low heat. You may want to add more water depending on how you like the consistency of your dal.

From here, there are a wide variety of paths that you can take. For my mom’s recipe she will slice a quarter yellow onion and 2 green chilis, and boil them with the dal.

She also adds one chopped tomato. About halfway through boiling, she sometimes adds some chopped zucchini or summer squash.

Optional. For the PEERtrainer Gourmets out there, you can cook some mustard seeds, garlic and onion in olive oil until the seeds pop and the onion and garlic brown. Add this to the dal at the very end.

How To Serve:

Add some fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped cilantro just before serving. You can serve on rice, or with any other dish.

Indian Dal Ingredient List

  • Split Mung Beans
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Onion
  • Tomato


Optional Ingredients For Indian Dal

  • Green Chilis
  • Zucchini or Squash
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Cilantro
  • Mustard Seed


Nutrition Facts For Indian Dal

14 Grams of Protein per 1/2 Cup  (Cooked)

This is what cooked Indian Dal looks like.

This is what cooked Indian Dal looks like.

Split Mung Beans, 35 grams of Carbs. 12 grams of fiber.

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