Moong Dal (Mung Lentils-an Indian Dish)

Hey friends! I hope the New Year is treating you all well! I know a lot of people out there are trying to save some cash after the holidays and are looking for ways to eat healthy on a budget. Welcome to Moong Dal. The cost breakdown for this recipe is only $1.10 per serving!

Eat cheap and healthy with Moong Dal-a traditional Indian mung lentil dish. At only $1.10 per serving, this dish is slightly spicy and packed full of flavor!

The Recipe ReDux January Challenge:

Budget-Friendly Eats. How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017.

Moong dal (mung lentils) is a very budget-friendly food.  I’m normally not a huge fan of lentils, but after adding all the spices, I really like this dish. It will take a bit of an investment at first if you don’t have the spices, but you only use a little bit at a time and they will last you a while. You can save money buying in bulk as well.

Moong Dal Cost Breakdown per serving:

Moong Dal: $1.10
rice: $0.04
naan: $0.57

Total: $1.71

Where do I find Indian Spices?

I’m lucky enough to live around the corner from a little Indian spice shop. Try doing a google search and see if anything is near you. If not, you can try health food stores like Whole Foods, or there is always Amazon.

Moong Dal
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Eat cheap and healthy with Moong Dal-a traditional Indian mung lentil dish. At only $1.10 per serving, this dish is slightly spicy and packed full of flavor!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4

Lentil ingredients
  • ¾ cup Moong Dal (mung lentils)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Spice mixture
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 green chili, minced (also called "Thai chili pepper)
  • 1 dried red chili pepper, broken
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
At the end
  • ½ teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro (optional)

  1. Prepare the lentils by removing any debris. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add lentils, onion, tomato, ginger, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for about 25 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally.
  2. Blend lentils to whatever texture that you prefer. I spoon half of them into my Vitamix, blend, and return to the pot. You can also use an immersion blender, or even a whisk.
  3. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add cumin and mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add everything else listed in the spice mixture above, and cook for a couple minutes until bubbly and fragrant. Be careful not to burn.
  4. Add spice mixture to lentils. Add salt to taste. Cook on low for about 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and add fenugreek leaves and dry mango powder. Serve topped with cilantro, and rice/naan on the side.


I got my inspiration from Veg Recipes of India and Indian Healthy Recipes.

Be sure to check out the other budget-friendly recipes below!


Let me know what you think...