Instant Pot Moong Bean Curry (Whole Mung Dal Recipe)

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This quick and easy Instant Pot Moong Bean Curry makes a delicious dinner or side dish in under 30 minutes. Pair this plant-based and gluten-free Whole Mung Dal (or sabut moong dal) recipe with rice or roti for the perfect weeknight meal!

A grey plate with moong dal curry on top of rice with a fork to the right and a cup of water in the back.

This sabut moong dal curry is my ultimate comfort food. It cooks perfectly in the Instant Pot, giving the moong beans a perfect melt-in-the-mouth texture. When you soak it with salt and cook it with spices as this recipe calls for, the normally bland-tasting moong turns into this delicious, finger-licking curry. 

What is Moong Bean Curry?

Also, called green gram curry this creamy plant-based dish made with moong beans is Indian comfort food. Whole or sprouted moong beans simmer together with onion, garlic, cumin seeds, tomato, and spices for an easy and filling meal. Before we dive into how to makes this delicious moong dal recipe let’s first talk about the main ingredient, mung beans.

What are Mung beans?

Mung beans or Moong beans, also called green gram, are small oval-shaped green beans. Often used in cuisine across Asia, these nutrient-dense legumes range in color from green to yellow and even black. With a slightly sweet flavor, these beans can be used in both savory as well as sweet dishes.

They are also called sabut moong dal (in Hindi) and green gram in English. 

Note: Moong bean and green lentils are not the same. You can replace the moong bean with green lentils though. To learn the difference, check out this post – Pulses 101 – a complete guide to legumes, pulses, bean, lentils, and dals. 

Are Mung beans healthy?

Yes. Mung beans have many wonderful health benefits! A cup of mung beans contains 14 grams of protein making them an excellent addition to a vegetarian and vegan diet. They are also high in fiber, folate, manganese, and magnesium. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

This moong bean stew is a one-pot meal that is easy on your stomach and a delight to your senses. 

  1. The Instant Pot makes this and all in one pot meal. It also means fewer dishes and easy clean up at the end.
  2. Moong bean curry is vegan and gluten-free, perfect for any diet!
  3. Total cook time of 30 minutes with mostly hands-off time makes this a great weeknight dinner.

How to make Instant Pot Moong Bean Curry

Quickly and easily make this delicious whole mung dal recipe in just 30 minutes with the help of your Instant Pot!

Ingredients

  • Moong beans– this protein-packed legume makes this dish hearty and filling.
  • Aromatics– cumin seeds, onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies add deep flavor to the dal.
  • Spice Powders– salt, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala, coriander, and cumin powder
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Water– reserve the water from soaking the moong beans.

Directions

  1. To begin, wash and soak whole green moong beans in water with 1/2 teaspoon salt overnight.
  2. When you are ready to begin, preheat the electric pressure cooker by selecting sauté and set it to the ‘Medium‘ setting. Once the inner pot is hot, add the oil and heat. When the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
  3. When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle in the pot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  4. Next, add salt, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala, coriander, and cumin powder. Sauté the spice powders for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Add chopped Roma tomatoes. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down.
  6. To the pot add moong beans and 2 cups of water. Stir, scraping off any bits stuck to the bottom. Then turn the Instant Pot off sauté.
  7. Lock the lid in place and select manual or pressure cook. Adjust to high and cook for 10 minutes on sealing mode.
  8. When the cooking is complete, wait 10 minutes for natural pressure release, after which follow the quick-release method as per your cooker instructions. Unlock and remove the lid.
  9. Garnish the Instant Pot moong bean curry with chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve with cumin rice or roti.

Notes about the recipe

If you want to make this a side dish instead of a stew, decrease the water from 2 cups to 1.5 cups.

Time-saving tip – If you live close to Patel brothers (US-based Indian stores), they usually carry sprouted moong beans – I often substitute dry ones with these. The cooking time remains the same. 

A black bowl with whole Instant Pot Moong bean curry topped with 3 wedges of lime with a bowl of rice to the top right and a cup of water to the top left.
Whole Mung Dal

Do mung beans need to be soaked before cooking?

I prefer to soak my mung beans before cooking. While you do not have to soak them, I find they cook better after soaking overnight.

Can you over soak mung beans?

Yes, beans soaking over 12 hours absorb too much water and tend to break down. If you happen to over soak it, reduce the cooking time to avoid a mushy mess. 

Should you soak beans in saltwater?

Yes. Soaking your beans in salted water results in a softer bean, perfect for a dal. While soaking, the salt in the water replaces calcium and magnesium ions from the skin of the bean with sodium ions. The sodium ions are weaker than calcium and magnesium ions allowing more water to pass through the skin and soften the bean. 

What do you eat mung beans with?

Some of my favorite things to eat with moong dal curry are roti or Basmati rice. To eat it with rice, make the consistency thinner. 

What is the difference between Mung Dal and Mung Beans?

Many people often ask are mung beans and mung dal the same? While they both come from the legume mung bean there is one notable difference between the two. Mung beans typically refer to the whole mung bean. On the other hand, mung dal refers to the split mung bean.

How long does mung bean take to cook?

It takes 10 minutes to cook mung beans in the Instant Pot. 

A grey plate with mung bean curry on top of rice and 3 wedges of lime on the plate.
Mung Bean Curry

Other delicious dal recipes

If you enjoyed this warm, filling Instant Pot Moong Bean Curry, here are a few other recipes to try next!

  1. Moong Dal Payasam– In a Mangalorean household, festive celebrations are incomplete without a delicious serving of Moong dal payasam or payasa.
  2. Moong Dal Khichdi– Moong dal khichdi made from rice and moong dal (split lentils) is comfort food at its best. 
  3. Instant Pot Dal Fry– This is my humble attempt to recreate the hearty and lip-smacking dal my mom makes at home.
  4. Creamy Instant Pot Dal Makhani– You’ve got to try this creamy and delicious Punjabi lentil curry that graces the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide.
  5. Dal Palak– This mildly spiced, creamy version of Spinach and Tomato Dal (Dal Palak) makes for a delicious and nutritious main course served with hot cooked rice.


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
A grey plate with mung bean curry on top of rice and 3 wedges of lime on the plate.

Instant Pot Moong Bean Curry (Whole Moong Dal Recipe)

4.67 from 3 votes
Make a delicious and protein-packed bowl of Mung Bean Curry with your Instant Pot in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Natural Release + Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Lunch / Dinner recipes
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak whole green moong in 3 cups of water overnight with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
  • Preheat the electric pressure cooker by selecting sauté and set it to the 'Medium' setting. When the inner pot is hot, after about 30 seconds, add oil. Once the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies, then stir and cook for 3-4 minutes or till the onion softens and turns translucent.
  • Add salt, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala, coriander, and cumin powder. Saute the spice powders for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.
  • Drain the moong beans before adding to the pot. Add 2 cups of water. Stir, scraping off any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Turn off sauté.
  • Lock the lid in place. Select manual or pressure cook and adjust to high. Cook for 10 minutes on sealing mode.
  • When the cooking is complete, wait 10 minutes for natural pressure release, after which follow the quick-release method as per your cooker instructions. Unlock and remove the lid.
  • Garnish with the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve with cumin rice or roti.

Notes

  1. I use the water the moong beans were soaked in but you can discard the water and use a fresh cup too. 
  2. If you want to make this a side dish instead of a curry, reduce the amount of water from 2 cups to 1.5 cups. 
  3. Time-saving tip - If you live close to Patel brothers (US-based Indian stores), they usually carry sprouted moong beans - I often substitute dry ones with these. The cooking time remains the same. 

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 20gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 690mgPotassium: 1218mgFiber: 16gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 797IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 7mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : Green gram, Sabut moong dal curry, Stew

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