Sindhi Moong Dal

Dal chawal [dal & rice] is eaten in all Indian homes from slums to mansions as a main course or side dish. There are dozens of lentil varieties & regional preparations. Here is a simple moong dal with a spice crust from the province of Sindh.

Makes 1 quart | 1 hour + soak time


1 ½ cups moong dal

3 cups water

1 tsp turmeric 

1 Tbsp ginger puree

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp ghee or oil 

Topping masala

2 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp amchur

2 tsp cracked coriander

2 tsp chili powder


  1. Rinse the lentils in water 3 times, then soak for 30 minutes. Drain by pouring most of the water out (a little remaining water is okay). 

  2. In a stockpot bring the lentils, 2 1/2 cups of water turmeric, ginger powder & salt to a boil. Discard any foamy scum that may rise to the top. Turn the heat to low, cover & cook for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. 

  3. Transfer the dal into a shallow serving bowl. Combine topping masala & spread evenly over the dal. Heat up the ghee in a small frying pan & pour over the top - spices will form a crust on top of the dal. Serve & enjoy!

ideas / variations

  • Stir in 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach just before the dal finishes cooking. It will wilt but remain bright green. 

  • Add 2 cups grated carrots to the dal at the start of cooking. 

  • Stir in fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, just before topping it with spice crust.