Whole Moong Dal is commonly made in North Indian households. It's a staple that is always there on the table to help round out your meal. These moong beans (it's technically a bean and not a lentil) are also often soaked overnight, drained and then sprouted to be eaten in salads. We use them for everything! This is a very basic, delicious dal to get into your weekly meal rotation. And, a perfect, wholesome and healthy ingredient to reach for when you just. cannot figure out what to make for dinner. This Instant Pot version is modified from my slow cooker version on page 67 of my book The Indian Slow Cooker. For my stovetop version, turn to page 127 in my book Indian For Everyone. Don't have my books? Consider purchasing them. It's the only way we authors get paid. So, we always appreciate those of you who invest in us by buying our books.
Desi Corner: Sabut is the Hindi word for whole. In this case Moong Sabut indicates this legume is in its whole form. It is also found split with skin and split without the skin (looks yellow). It's important to eyeball the FORM of the legume you are going to cook, because then you can guesstimate the amount of water and cook time. More of each is needed for a legume that is whole with the skin and less if it's split without the skin. Why should you start referring to all of these as dal? It takes the pressure off. Any legume is a dal to us. But within the umbrella of legumes there are peas, lentils, and beans. Some legumes are technically beans, but then in different forms they look like lentils. See where I am going with this? Why there is so much confusion in the West over legumes. If you call them all dal you are good!
MOONG SABUT DAL
Pressure Cooker Size: 3Q or larger
Warm Up: 18 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Cool Down: 10 minutes plus manual release time
TOTAL: 53 minutes plus manual release time
Makes: 8 cups
2 cups sabut moong dal (dried whole green dal with skin), picked over and washed
2 teaspoons oil or ghee
1 pinch hing (asafoetida) (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-4 Thai or serrano chiles, stems removed and minced
1 medium tomato, diced or pureed
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups water
2 cups firmly packed spinach leaves, washed and chopped (optional)
1. Soak dal in boiled, hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and discard the water. Set aside.
2. Place the inner cooking pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add oil.
3. Once hot, add hing and cumin. Stir well and cook 40 seconds until the seeds are reddish brown. Because the oil pools to the sides, push spices into the oil along the border of the inner pot so they can cook fully.
4. Add turmeric. Cook 30 seconds.
5. Carefully add onion. The moisture can cause the oil to splatter. Stir well. Cook 2 minutes.
6. Add ginger, garlic, and fresh chiles. Cook 1 minute.
7. Add tomato. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Press CANCEL.
8. Add garam masala, red chile, salt, dal, and water. Stir well.
9. Lock the lid into place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position (upwards). Press the PRESSURE COOK button until the panel indicates MORE and adjust the time to pressure cook on HIGH for 25 minutes.
10. Once the cooking is complete, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining pressure.
11. Add spinach if you are using. Serve with basmati rice or Indian bread like roti or naan.