This comforting Green Moong Dal recipe includes whole moong beans pressure cooked and tempered with fragrant seasonings. It’s a healthy, satisfying Green Gram Curry that pairs perfectly with rice or roti. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions and photos to make this Punjabi Sabut Moong Dal for a delicious lunch or dinner.
About Green Moong Dal
I make green moong dal quite often, and I’m so happy to share this classic comfort food dish with you.
Similar to my favorite Dal Makhani made with whole black gram, this vegan recipe features healthy lentils cooked with a variety of vibrant seasonings and aromatics.
However, green moong dal is also known as sabut moong dal – sabut means “whole” in Hindi – and since whole green gram are used in the recipe, hence the name. These whole lentils with the husks gives a lovely consistency and texture to the preparation.
Although Dal Makhani and this green moong dal are made with different lentils, they are cooked using a similar tried-and-true method.
The lentils are first soaked and then pressure cooked for a quick and nearly foolproof prep. Next, a fragrant tempered oil is added to the moong dal to infuse the dish with deep flavor.
Sabut moong dal has an earthy, satisfying taste and a slightly saucy consistency. It’s not quite as soup-like as a thin curry, but is still great to serve over rice or scoop with roti.
How to make Green Moong Dal
1. Firstly, rinse ½ cup of green moong beans under running water for a few times or so. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with water, and soak for an hour.
You can also soak them for a couple of hours or even overnight. If they soak overnight then the cooking time will reduce by several minutes.
2. Now chop 1 medium onion, 1 large tomato and 1 to 2 green chilies (optional).
Cook Moong Lentils
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Add 1 medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf) and ½ tsp of cumin seeds. On a low heat fry until the cumin seeds splutter.
Omit adding tej patta if you do not have it.
You could also follow these steps of sautéing the spices, onions, tomatoes and cooking the mung beans in the Instant Pot adding water as needed.
4. Then add the ⅓ cup chopped onions.
5. Sauté the onions on medium-low to medium heat until they start to turn light golden.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and ½ to 1 teaspoon of the chopped green chillies. Stir and sauté on low heat for a few seconds until the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away.
7. Now add the following ingredients:
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon of Garam Masala Powder
8. Stir and sauté until the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides. The tomatoes would become a mush and look pulpy.
9. Drain all the water from the bowl in which the beans were soaking and add the soaked moong beans to the cooker.
10. Stir to mix well.
11. Add 2.5 to 3 cups of water and salt to taste.
12. Cover and pressure cook the lentils for 10 to 12 whistles (15 to 17 minutes) on a medium to high heat.
Once the pressure drops on its own naturally in the cooker, then open the lid and check the moong beans. If they still have slight bite to them, then add some water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 more whistles, or about 5 minutes.
If the mixture looks a bit dry and the lentils aren’t quite done, add a bit more water before pressure cooking again.
13. Keep the cooker on the stovetop and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Switch off the heat when you get the desired consistency. Cover the cooker with any flat steel lid or a steel plate.
The consistency of the dal shouldn’t be watery. To make the Sabut Moong Dal thicker you can use the back of a spoon to mash some of the lentils, and stir again.
If in case the lentils appear dry, add some water as needed and mix thoroughly.
Temper Green Gram Curry
This step is optional but helps to infuse the dal with even more deep, delicious flavor.
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Keep heat to a low. Add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry until they begin to crackle.
2. Turn off the heat and add a pinch of asafoetida and ¼ teaspoon of red chilli powder or cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Carefully add the tempering oil to the cooked green moong dal. Stir and mix well.
4. Add 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves (cilantro). Stir again.
5. Garnish with more chopped coriander, and serve Green Moong Dal hot or warm with your favorite sides.
Green gram curry is like a home-cooked dal and goes well with roti, steamed basmati rice, and/or a green veggie salad.
Use a thick bottomed deep pot or pan. Follow the recipe and after adding moong beans, add 3.5 cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook the beans on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.
Add a bit of water if necessary as the lentils cook.
Tip: It’s best to soak the beans overnight, if cooking them in a pot or pan, so that they quick faster.
The Green Gram Curry tastes best as soon it is served after making it. If you have leftovers keep it for a day only in the refrigerator. The flavors change after refrigeration and the consistency thickens. Let the dal completely cool at room temperature before transferring to an airtight container.
More Moong Recipes To Try!
Dal (Lentils) & Legumes
Please be sure to rate this recipe in the recipe card below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Green Moong Dal | Green Gram Curry | Sabut Moong Dal
This comforting Green Moong Dal or Green Gram Curry includes whole moong beans pressure cooked and tempered with fragrant seasonings. It’s a healthy, satisfying dal that pairs perfectly with rice or roti.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking Time For Lentils 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
Rinse green moong beans for a couple of times and then soak in enough water for an hour. You can also soak them for a couple of hours or overnight. If soaking overnight, then the pressure cooking time will reduce.
After 1 to 2 hours, drain all the water and the keep the soaked mung beans aside.
Chop the onion, tomato and green chilies. Crush the ginger and garlic to a paste in the mortar-pestle.
Making green moong dal
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3 litre pressure cooker. Keep the heat to a low.
Add the whole spices – tej patta, cumin seeds. Fry till the cumin seeds splutter.
Then add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions till light golden on medium-low to medium heat.
Add ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chilies. Stir and sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.
Stir and sauté on medium-low to medium heat till the tomatoes soften, become pulpy and you see oil releasing from the sides.
Add the soaked moong beans. Stir to combine.
Add 2.5 to 3 cups water and salt as per taste. Mix very well.
Cover and pressure cook sabut moong dal for 10 to 12 whistles or 15 to 17 minutes on a medium to high heat till the moong beans are softened thoroughly.
- When the pressure falls naturally down on its own in the cooker, then only open the lid and check the moong beans. If they still have slight bite to them, then add some water and pressure cook for some more whistles.
Keep the cooker on the stove top and simmer the moong dal for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring at intervals. If the mixture looks dry, then you can add more water.
The consistency of the dal should not be watery. While cooking you can mash a few lentils with the back of the spoon.
Switch off the heat when you get the desired consistency in the dal. Cover the cooker with any flat steel lid or steel plate.
Tempering for green gram curry (optional step)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Splutter cumin seeds first on low heat.
Switch off the heat and then add a pinch of asafoetida and red chili powder or cayenne pepper. Stir to mix.
Add this tempering mixture to the dal. Stir and mix well.
Add chopped coriander leaves. Stir again.
Serve Green Moong Dal with steamed rice or chapati.
While serving this Green Gram Curry, you can garnish with a few coriander leaves if you like.
- To cook in a pot or pan – use a thick bottomed deep pot or pan. Follow the recipe and after adding moong beans, add 3.5 cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook the beans on a medium heat till the beans soften. Its best to soak the beans overnight, if cooking them in a pot or pan. Add more water if required while cooking.
- You can also cook the mung beans in an Instant Pot adding water as needed.
- For a spicy taste, add more green chilies or red chilli powder.
- Instead of oil, you can also use ghee.
Green Moong Dal | Green Gram Curry | Sabut Moong Dal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 197 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Vitamin A 302IU6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.2mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.04mg2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Vitamin E 5mg33%
Vitamin K 3µg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6µg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Green Gram Dal recipe post from the archives, first published on July 2015 has been republished and updated on November 2022.