Homestyle Dal

I happened across a bag of moong dal on the sale rack at Kroger a while back, so I picked it up in order to try making dal! In the interim, I also came across a Bon Appétit In The Kitchen episode about kadhi (yogurt soup), so I am officially in an Indian phase of cooking. :) I have a cabinet full of Indian masalas and spices, so I’ll note the ones that you can easily skip or I’ll give you a substitution. This is not a traditional recipe; the use of raisins and coconut milk came from one of the many recipes I perused to get the idea for this. There are as many dal recipes as there are cooks! Make it your own!

homestyle dal

Angela's Homestyle Dal

Perfect comfort food! I think of this as Indian mac n cheese! Make it vegan by using oil rather than ghee to toast the spices.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword comfort food, dal, moong dal, red lentils
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela


  • 6 qt soup pot


  • 1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal) rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup split mung beans (moong dal) rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peppers, diced 2-3 small ones or 1/2 large one
  • 6 scallions, sliced on the bias white and green parts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins optional
  • 1 can 14 oz coconut milk/cream
  • 3 cups water or chicken stock if not vegetarian cover the dal by 1"
  • 1/4 cup ghee sub oil for vegan
  • 2 Tbl ginger paste OR about 2" fresh ginger microplaned
  • 3 Tbl tomato paste
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp chat masala optional
  • 2 tsp asafoetida (Indian spice blend) SUB 1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1 Tbl curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt TO TASTE
  • 2 Tbl cilantro, chopped
  • Rice for serving optional


  • Thoroughly rinse the lentils and mung beans. Add to pot with diced carrot and water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the lentils start to soften. Then add peppers, 2/3 of the scallions, raisins and coconut milk. Keep at a slow simmer. Adjust water to get the consistency you like. I like mine THICK, so I let it cook down, but if you like it soupy, add more liquid.
  • In a small saucepan, melt ghee over medium heat. When hot, add the seeds and fry for a minute. Then add powdered spices and fry for another minute. Then add pastes and fry for another minute. Do not use too high of heat! The spices need to bloom, but not burn.
  • When spices have bloomed and smell fragrant, add to dal. Stir thoroughly and cook for another 5 minutes or so. The complete cook time should be anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
  • Adjust salt.
  • Serve over rice with scallions and cilantro as garnish. I also like this with a dollop of plain yogurt on the side.


To make vegetarian, use water instead of chicken stock. 
To make vegan, use water and sub oil for ghee. 
This dish is nicely complemented with yogurt! 
This recipe makes about 1.5 quarts of dal. You can freeze leftovers. 
I highly recommend finding the Indian spices. It makes all the difference.