Punjabi Tarka – Moong Daal

Punjabi Tarka – Moong Daal

This Moong Daal has always been very special to me. It’s super easy to make and it is very healthy. Growing up in India, my mom used to make this lentil Moong Daal a lot – and all of my siblings Loved It !

My mom added homemade pickles and pappad (Indian chips) together with this daal – which made it even better !

This daal which I cooked today turned out so delicious – but I can’t ever compare it with my mom’s lentils. Because, of course, there is too much love inside of mom’s home cooked recipes 🙂

Even so, I feel happy that I’m able to make some recipes which she taught me. This food is not just for eating – it comes with lots of warmth, love and happy emotions.

When my grandma used to cook this Moong Daal, she used to always make some extra. She used the extra leftover daal as a secret ingredient to make Roti !

When you go to eat out, you will not usually find this Moong Daal on the menus of most Indian restaurants.

But this Moong Daal is very popular in Indian homes – and almost every single Indian family makes this lentil dish at home regularly.

No fancy style or technique – just simple ingredients and and wholesome cooking. This is real typical Indian-Punjabi style lentil.

Punjabi Tarka – Moong Daal

Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • Instant Pot


  • ¾ Cup Raw Green Moong Daal Whole
  • 1 Whole Tomato Medium Size
  • ½ Onion Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger Crushed
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • Coriander Leaves Handful
  • Serrano Pepper Sliced
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves


  • Wash the raw whole mong daal 2-3 times and strain it
  • I like to soak my lentils (daal) for 3-4 hours then I cook them.
    But you can wash them thoroughly and cook them right after washing if you want to make them faster
  • Now put the lentil in the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) you have and add 1 teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of water
  • Close the lid and set the Instant Pot on High for 12 minutes
  • While the daal is cooking, let's start making the flavoring for daal, called Tarka
  • Heat up a sauté pan on low to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Once the oil heats up a bit, add the cumin seeds and let them start crackling
  • Add the onion and let the onion sauté until the color of the onion is clear or transparent
  • Then put garlic and ginger together in the pan and stir everything together
  • Put the tomatoes in the pan together with all the spices (turmeric, coriander powder, black pepper, paprika and salt) and mix them evenly
  • Close lid of the pan and let everything simmer for 5 minutes
  • When you open the lid, the tomato and all the spices will be nicely blended together. Make sure you are keeping the heat on low-medium the entire time
  • Now it's time to check on the lentils, which are cooking/boiling in the Instant Pot. Once the lentils are done, take some out and check that they are nice and tender. If they are still hard, cook them for a few minutes longer in the Instant Pot.
  • Once they are done, pour the lentils in the sauté pan and mix everything together
  • Let it boil for at least 1-2 minutes. If you see mixture is little bit thick you can pour ½ cup of water in the pan and stir, letting it boil for 1 more minute
  • Crush the fenugreek leaves and sprinkle over the boiling lentil mixture


Your piping hot lentil is ready to eat !
Serve it with white rice, brown rice, or quinoa, or naan/roti.
It taste awesome and delicious and goes well with basically anything😊
You can store this daal in the fridge for 4 days – just heat it up in the microwave or in a pan on the stove – it will be still delicious.

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