Moong Dal and Indian Green Beans

My mom is the best Indian chef in the world.

Up until now, I’ve never expressed interest in learning – at home, delicious food was always magically on the table, I’m not a huge fan of chopping things :/, and I didn’t stand a chance against my mom’s cooking anyways!

But now that I am living on my own and need to eat something other than cookies for dinner, I decided to take a few Skype cooking lessons from my mom and aunt, and learn how to make the food of my country.

Let my Indian cooking adventures begin!

Recipe: Moong Dal

What is it?

Dal: dried lentils, split peas, or beans cooked into a thick stew.  It is a delicious and comforting Indian staple, usually eaten with vegetables, rice and/or roti (a type of Indian flat bread).  Dal is full of protein, perfect for all of those Indian vegetarians :).

There are many types of dal.  I made Moong Dal, which is basically moong beans that have been dried and split.  They are yellow in color.


  • 1 cup moong dal
  • water
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 heaping tsp turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 heaped tsp grated ginger (or 1/2 inch piece chopped)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Tarka: spices and vegetables cooked in oil to season the dal

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seed (zeera)
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • ½-1 chopped tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro
  • salt (to taste)


  1. Wash the dal well (at least 3 times), or until water is clear.
  2. Put dal into a pot.  Add enough water so that it is about 1 ½ inches above the dal (less is more on the water) and put on a med-high flame.
  3. Wash, peel, and grate your ginger.
  4. Once it starts to simmer, add salt (to taste), haldi (turmeric), ginger, and lemon juice.  Note: Dal should be boiling on med-high heat. You can add a little water here too, if needed.
  5. After 15 minutes, cover halfway and reduce heat – be sure to keep an eye on the dal, as it can overflow! You can also add more water if the dal is not cooked and the water is gone.
  6. The dal is done once it is mushy, after about 20-30 minutes.
  7. In a separate saucepan, make your tarka!
  8. Add olive oil, zeera (cumin), chopped onion, and chopped garlic. Let this mixture brown over a medium flame.
  9. Add ½-1 tomato, cilantro, and salt (to taste).
  10. Let this cook together – once the oil is separating from the mixture, it is done.
  11. Add tarka to dal and heat up the dal.  You can add more water to the dal at this point if it is too thick.
  12. Enjoy with rice or roti!
  13. Store in the fridge.  To re-heat, add a little water to dilute it, and put it on the stove or warm it in the microwave.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Recipe: Indian Green Beans

Summary: Delicious green beans with Indian spices! Unfortunately, while making this I kinda just tossed things in and hoped for the best, so my measurements are vague on this recipe…I got lucky because these were delicious!!


  • 1 cup green beans
  • some olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • some ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • salt (to taste)
  • some red pepper
  • cilantro


  1. In a saucepan, add oil, onion, and cumin seeds. Let these brown on medium-high heat.
  2. Chop your green beans into pieces and add to the pan.
  3. After 5 minutes or so, add turmeric, ginger, ground cumin, salt, and red pepper.
  4. Stir, cover, and let this cook for 15 minutes on med-low heat.
  5. Garnish with cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Conclusion: Delicious, lots of chopping, and maybe I’ll get better with practice.  Maybe someday to my mom’s pro status :).

Moong Dal, Indian Green Beans, TJ’s Whole Wheat Pita, and spiced yogurt.

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