Moong Daal with Curry Leaf, Red Chile, and Tempered Garlic

Author Notes: A Pakistani dining table staple in my home, moong daal is a simple and versatile addition to any meal. The lentils are boiled and then flavored with ghee or butter infused with spices. Tempering never fails to take me home to my mother's kitchen in Karachi, Pakistan.Sumayya Usmani

Serves: 4


  • 100 grams moong daal (without husk), soaked for 10 minutes before cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter (mixed with 1 tbsp oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced finely
  • 2 dried red chilli
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 inch ginger, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, to serve
In This Recipe


  1. Drain the moong lentil and add to a saucepan. Cover with water and add turmeric, cinnamon stick, and red chile powder and allow to come to the boil.
  2. When it reaches a boil, turn low, skim any froth, and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft and cooked through. If the lentils dry up, add a little water as they cook. The end result should be the consistency of thick soup.
  3. When cooked, place in a serving bowl and prepare the tempering. In a small frying pan, heat the ghee.
  4. Add the cumin seeds allow to splutter, add the sliced garlic, and when it turns slightly brown, add the red chile and curry leaves. Only let these splutter for a couple of seconds and do not let the garlic brown too much or else the ghee might taste quite acrid
  5. Immediately pour this over the cooked lentils and garnish with cilantro leaves and ginger and sprinkle a little garam masala on top.

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