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Daali Kanda (Moong dal with onion)

Moong bean is a legume native to India and is a low-carb, high-protein bean. In fact, moong is one of the best plant-based sources of protein. They’re rich in essential amino acids or those that your body is unable to produce on its own. It is rich in fiber, especially if it is used with the green skin on it. It is also rich in potassium and manganese, some B vitamins, and along with the fiber enhances the body’s capacity to fight and rectify lifestyle diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and hypertension. Like other legumes, it also contains resistant starch which is great for the gut microbiome. It’s much easier to digest than other pulses and legumes. Sprouted moong beans are better nutritionally and contain more free amino acids and antioxidants. In fact, sprouted moong may contain as much as six times more antioxidants than regular mung beans. So, all in all, it’s a great addition to your meals.

Recipe: Darshana Muzumdar

Serves 4 as part of a traditional Indian meal


  • 1 cup moong dal, preferably the wild indigenous variety
  • 1 large onion chopped finely (around 1 cup)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green chillies (adjust according to your preference)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste


Clean, wash and soak the moong dal in enough water to cover it and some more.

Blend or pound the garlic and green chillies into a rough textured paste and keep it aside.

Heat oil on medium heat in a thick bottomed steel pot or kadhai.

Once the oil is really hot, add the cumin seeds and let them fry for around 10-15 seconds. Do not allow them to burn.

Add the chopped onion and sauté it till it’s soft and translucent.

Add the garlic-chilli paste and sauté for 20 seconds.

Add the salt and turmeric and mix it well.

Drain the moong dal and add it to the onions. Add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook.

Check after 5 minutes and give it a stir to ensure all the dal cooks evenly.

Once the dal is cooked and almost all the water has been absorbed, give it a mix and turn off the heat.

Add the chopped coriander, mix it and serve hot.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

Use unrefined salt like rock salt.

Do not use oil. Add a bit of salt to the chopped onion and let it rest for around 15 minutes so it releases its moisture.

Dry roast the cumin seeds and add the onion along with the water it has released. Sauté till the onion is soft and translucent. Add a tablespoon of water if necessary from time to time. Alternatively, pressure cook it with very little water for one whistle. Follow the rest of the recipe as above.

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