ISKON Mung Dal | Indian Dal using Split Mung Beans


It was Tour Downunder here a couple of weeks ago and Lance Armstrong was making his comeback. The final stage of the race was at the corner of my street, and it was a lot of fun to watch and be involved. It was very much a picnic type atmosphere – people with their wines and cheeses, chairs in the shade, bare chests (the men) and thongs (shoe wear – flipflops – not underwear, silly!).


I watched the race until the last 10 laps or so, then trotted home and watched the finish on TV. Fantastic! I took more photos than I care to mention.


Ok, back to food. A couple of things coincided for me this week. You know how it goes, unrelated things come together, arranged by the universe somehow, and the results are good.


I have needed new saucepans for a few years now. After a border that stayed with me for 2.5 years – a student from overseas. Bless her soul, she was fresh from the cosseted mother-managed life at home and did not know about such things as costs of phone calls or care of Very Expensive saucepans.  However, my saucepans, rough around the edges though they had become, continued to serve me well, and although I salivated over various saucepans in the shops, I decided again and again to delay. However, this week they were 30% reduced. I could wait no longer.

Also this week I decided that I could no longer do without smoothies at home and purchased a blender after living without one for over a decade. In fact, the only blending type equipment I have had for quite a while is a hand held immersion blender. It was quite enough for most things, but does not make smoothies or crush ice. Yay! Now I can do both.

Quite unrelated to this, I was stressing over the number of cookbooks that I have and how I need to get rid of dozens some. Some are not much use now that I am vegetarian or because the little ones in my family live interstate and overseas so there is not such a call for cupcakes and train-shaped birthday cakes. But you know, I have an emotional attachment to them. They are for me like photo albums are for other people.

So it was as I saw a book in my cupboard and said, now definitely THAT one can go out. Passed on to me by my fried Nachi as he left to return to India.  “A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma Free Diet”.  Krishna Consciousness Book. It is a small paperback sort of book, few pictures, looking more like a novel than a cookbook. Half of it talks about vegetarianism, its role and our benefits not only saving the lives of animals by not eating them but also from not putting meat through our digestive system. All good reading.

The recipes themselves are diverse, from Chinese in style to Italian, from cheesecake to curry. Then I found it – a simple dal, quick and easy – a recipe to test drive my new saucepans even though it was 11pm.

Oh my goodness, this is so tasty, like most of the recipes of the ISKCON, unexpectedly tasty. The book is retrieved from the “give away” pile, and I am relieved, because it was given to me by a good friend. Hello Nachi. Happy birthday!

I have also made some Peppers cooked in Oil Italian Style, and some wonderful steelcut oats for breakfast this morning (even though it is mid summer here).

Oh and yes, I have been making smoothies, almond milk, crushed ice, and watermelon juice frappes in my blender, and planning many more things!


Easy ISKCON Mung Dal

Source : inspired by The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

1 cup Yellow Mung Dal
7 cups water
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 zucchini, less if large. Peel them if they are older and the skin is tough. Otherwise, no need to peel.
5 Tblspn ghee
1.5 Tblspn ginger, minced
1 green chilli, diced small or minced
0.25 tspn hing (asaephotida powder)
1.5 tspn turmeric
2 – 3 tspn salt (the recipe says “1 Tblspn”, which sounds a lot. Interpret this as “salt to taste – it might take a little more salt than you would normally use.”
fresh coriander or other green fleshy herbs for garnish

for tadka
1.5 Tblspn Cumin Seeds
1 Tblspn Black Mustard Seeds

In a large saucepan place 3 Tblspn of ghee, the turmeric, asaephotida powder, and mung beans. Fry for 30 seconds on medium heat, and add the vegetables. Fry for 1 minute more.

Add the water, salt, fresh chilli and diced ginger. Bring to the boil and then cover, lower the heat and let the dal simmer for 1 hour until the beans have dissolved into a thick soup.

In a small skillet add the remaining ghee. When hot, add the cumin seeds and black mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, wait some seconds to allow the mustard seeds to pop and pour the mixture into the pot of dal. Stir through, garnish with herbs and serve hot.

The Mung/Moong Dal Series


About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 01 Mid Summer, Breakfast, Indian, Lentils - Grains - Rice - Nuts, Soups, Tomatoes, Vegan, VEGETARIAN, Zucchini. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to ISKON Mung Dal | Indian Dal using Split Mung Beans

  1. Maninas says:

    What a beautiful dal. :)

    Hope all’s well where you are. I’ve been listening to the news today. Absolutely horrified with what’s going on in Victoria. And to thing that 50% of all the fires are arson! It makes me angry, and sad at the same time.

    Thank you so much Maninas. We are all in shock, everyone. I could not sleep much last night. How do these things happen?


  2. Aparna says:

    Dal is great comfort food, and also an excuse to try out your new pans.:)
    Maybe we can see the results of test driving the new blender too….


  3. What a Dal!
    we usually call it LSD – Life Saving Dal!
    Now that M and m are in Mumbai (another m); I will be practicing Dal Making! Thanks for the details!

    LSD – lol. I am going to use that with my friends. Come around for some LSD. Hehehe… Your beautiful new daughter – you must be over the moon. She is so very beautiful.


  4. Jane says:

    Surely not a tablespoon of salt?!

    It does say 1 Tblspn, but yes it sounds a lot. I didn’t use that much. Also I cook with Celtic Sea salt which is a mineralised sea salt with a lower percentage of actual sodium chloride in it. It doesn’t taste so “salty” in larger amounts. I think I will alter the recipe, thanks for pointing it out.


  5. deeba says:

    Am so glad you enjoyed the race. And new pans always call for celebration…your dal looks yum! Beautifully pictures as well!


  6. Cynthia says:

    Love the inspiration.


  7. heh – ganga – you should activate the threaded comments feature too! :-O


  8. Al says:

    Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!


  9. bee says:

    i love those photos!!! enjoy your cookware. i’ve never met an ISCKON recipe that wasn’t lip-smacking good.


  10. Sharmila says:

    Just came by your blog … and am already loving it. Always love the food & prasad at ISCKON. :-)


  11. Aparna says:

    I wanted to write to you about something. Do you have an e-mail id I could write to?


  12. What beautiful cycling photos! And aren’t you lucky with your new saucepans and rediscovered “new” cookbook”…the dal looks delicious.
    You are very quiet(still)…life a bit hectic? Hope you are doing well? (Hope too the temperatures have cooled down..)


    • Ganga says:

      As much as I have been denying it for the past week, Autumn is here. Beautiful weather and the touch of colour just appearing on leaves. Sigh. It is always hard to let go of the last threads of summer, but I have to say that Autumn is Adelaide at its Best.

      Yes, quiet in the blogosphere, but busy with lots of other projects. I will try to post again soon. Thanks for asking, Ronell.


  13. Srivalli says:

    Its been a while J, how are you doing..was meaning I should drop a line!..hope everything is going good..sad to know about the fires..take care…

    dal looks stunning! usual great picture..


  14. Ranjani says:

    I just spent the past hour going through your archives. Stunning pictures and great write ups! Love it:))


    • Ganga says:

      Thanks Ranjani. I am glad that you like it. your blog is great too and I thank you for leaving your comment so that I could find it. I love your choli recipes, and will be trying them soon.


  15. Thanks for your lovely comment, Ganga. We too had the Cape’s premier cycling event 2 weekends ago. THe Cape Argus Cycle Tour. Apparently it was the most difficult one ever because of the unusually high winds. My dad, as sick as he is spent 7 hours marshalling at the bottom of boyes drive. I love your pics, they somehow seem to convey the buzz of the spectators, and your dal looks yummy too


  16. amberjee says:

    errrm, don’t get rid of that train cake recipe book – i’m definitely going to be needing it soon!!


  17. Marie says:

    Wow! I just came across your blog because of one of the chickpea features & was enjoying browsing through, but now I am so happy to see this recipe!
    This is a dish I used to cook often but that was over ten years ago! I lost the book and never replaced it & sadly since the reissue this one is no longer included.
    There was also a creamy curry with cauliflower as I seem to remember & some wonderful rice pudding with cardamon pods. If at all possible I would love to have those recipes again too!

    Thanks for posting this great mung dal.
    Love the blog, definitely an inspiration :)


  18. I was looking up the good ole’ ISKCON dal recipe when I came upon your blog — and what a pleasure! This recipe (and its variations) are like an old friend to me. Looking for something old, I found something new! Now I get to poke around at all the other interesting items in your blog.

    By the way, I am a huge fan of hing, and prefer it to onions and garlic — for a variety of reasons. It is not merely a substitute, but truly has its own pungent virtues. Great for that savory sulfur element! Curls the nostril hair and makes me smile. :)



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