Mung bean dal in buttermilk curry is easy to make, and eating this dish may feel like giving your body and mind a calming spa treatment.
Hailing from Gujarat, a state on India’s northwestern coast, and known in India as khatta mung, this very popular mung bean dal is both comforting and sublime.
I love treating myself really well with food, and every time I make this dish, I find myself anticipating how good I will feel after eating it. Hopefully you will experience the same.
Contrary to the fact that buttermilk is in the name of this recipe, the ingredient that creates the creaminess is actually whole milk yogurt, which I think is a better choice since yogurt is a standard ingredient that most of you will have in your fridge already.
For my vegan readers, simply substitute with a plant-based yogurt alternative.
After the tangy yogurt is mixed with some spices, it becomes a lovely simmer sauce for the cooked mung beans.
This simple dish is really easy to digest, which gives your internal organs a break, and a chance to heal.
Pair this curry with some sautéed greens and basmati rice, and your satisfying vegetarian dinner is ready.
Mung Bean Dal Is A Sattvic Dish
Mung bean dal in buttermilk curry is considered sattvic, or pure. One of the reasons is that it is made without onions or garlic.
Sattva is one of India’s traditional lifestyles. It is often associated with yogic or spiritual adherents, because eating sattvic food is said to bring clarity and calmness to the mind.
You don’t have to be a devout practitioner to have your own spirituality, so I encourage you to try this dish and see if you can feel any calming affect.
Another way to be consistent with sattvic principles is to choose fresh, locally-produced ingredients.
And when you cook, try to keep your mind calm and your thoughts positive.
If you want to read more about sattva, visit “What Is Mind-Body Cooking.”
Are you ready to start making this recipe? That’s wonderful! Let’s gather up the ingredients.
Where Do I Buy Mung Bean Dal?
Mung beans are a staple in Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and other Southeast Asian cuisines, so they are pretty easy to find at most grocery stores.
Or you can check this Amazon link for a good organic source.
You may also be interested to know that mung beans are revered in India as “the king of dal” for their supreme digestibility. Mung beans are also (not surprisingly) sattvic.
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Where Do I Buy The Other Spices I Need For This Recipe?
Depending on what the ingredients is, it will be available at a regular grocery story, an Indian grocery store, or online. Let me break it down to make it as easy as possible for you.
Spices you can get at ANY grocery store:
- chickpea flour (a substitute for gram flour)
- turmeric powder
- cayenne pepper (a substitute for red chili powder)
- cumin seeds
- jalapeño (a substitute for green chili)
- fresh cilantro or coriander
Spices you may need to get online, or at an Indian grocery store:
- gram flour (also known as besan)
- red chili powder
- asafetida (optional, but recommended)
- black mustard seeds
- green chilis
- curry leaves (optional, but recommended)
Check the Amazon recommendations below for the spices you need.
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More Mung Bean Recipes You May Like
Recipe For Mung Bean Dal In Buttermilk Curry
- 1 cup
whole mung beans
- 1/2 cup
plain whole milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoons gram flour,
(for thickening; see notes for substitutes)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder (substitute with cayenne pepper),
- 1/4 teaspoon asafetida,
(optional; see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chilis,
slit lengthwise (substitute with jalapeño)
- 1 teaspoon ginger,
minced or grated
- 5–6 curry leaves,
(optional; see notes)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander leaf, minced
Cook the whole mung beans
- Cover mung beans with cold water and a pinch of salt, and soak for 4 hours or overnight. Drain off the soaking water and rinse well until the water runs clear.
- Cook the mung beans using the saucepan method or the pressure cooker method. Note: Pressure cookers are amazing for cooking pulses quickly and efficiently. If you are unfamiliar with their use, please refer to my post on “How to Cook Beans From Scratch” for more information.
- Saucepan Method: Add mung beans to a medium saucepan with 4 cups of cold water. Add turmeric powder and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, loosely cover the pot, and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the mung beans are soft. Keep an eye on it while simmering to ensure that the water does not evaporate below the level of the beans. If it does, add more water.Pressure Cooker Method: Add mung beans to a 4-quart stovetop pressure cooker with 3 cups of cold water. Add turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Cover, and turn the heat to high. Once the cooker has reached high pressure, turn it down slightly and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. If you are using an Instant Pot, cook for 30 minutes on high pressure.Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes. Manually release any remaining steam, and open the lid. The mung beans should be soft.
Make the buttermilk curry
- Whisk the yogurt, gram flour, turmeric powder, optional asafetida, red chili powder, salt, and one cup of water in a mixing bowl until smooth with no lumps.
- Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook (watch carefully) until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add green chilis, ginger, and optional curry leaves, and cook for another minute.
- Add the prepared yogurt mixture and the cooked mung beans, and stir well. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more water if needed.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro. Another option is to stir the cilantro into the curry rather than using it as a garnish.