mung bean dal with buttermilk

Recipe For Mung Bean Dal In Buttermilk Curry

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: mung bean, yogurt
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Soaking Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Andrea at Buttered Veg
Mung bean dal in buttermilk curry is easy to make, tasty, and soothing to digest. Enjoy for lunch or dinner with basmati rice and a vegetable side.
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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.
To serve


GRAM FLOUR is made from ground up Indian chickpeas known as kabuli chana. In India, gram flour, also known as besan, is a common ingredient in flatbreads, fried foods, desserts, and in this case as a thickening agent for curries. If you don’t have gram flour, use chickpea flour or substitute with cornstarch.
ASAFETIDA is a powder made from the sap of a plant relative of fennel. It is commonly used in Indian cooking, but is virtually unknown in the West.
Asafetida is sometimes associated with a sulphur smell, and is thus very unique, and nearly impossible to substitute. It is a wonderful spice once you get familiar with it. I highly recommend investing in it when you are ready.
For now, if you do not have asafetida, leave it out. Under some circumstances, it could make sense to substitute onions, shallots, or garlic, but only use a small amount if you choose to do this.
CURRY LEAVES, also known as kari patta, are small, fragrant, somewhat citrusy leaves that grow wild in India, but are difficult to find in the West unless you visit an Indian grocery store.
You can usually find a package of fresh curry leaves in the refrigerated section of an Indian grocery store. Once you bring them home, store them in the freezer, and they will keep for months.
It is very worth using curry leaves if you can find them, but their flavor is subtle, so if you cannot source them, just leave them out.
Visit A Guide to Indian Substitutions for spice buying recommendations. 
Substitute the whole milk yogurt with a plant-based yogurt of your choice.
Recipe adapted from Archana Doshi of Archana’s Kitchen


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 283mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg
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