Yellow Split Mung Dhal

A time-honored Ayurvedic dish, mung dhal is easy to digest and balancing to all three doshas. Mung beans are used whole or, more commonly, split and hulled, a form called mung dhal in India. These beans don’t need pre-soaking and are a snap to cook to butter-soft consistency. The versatility of this soupy dhal makes it a great protein-rich starter or side dish.


1 1/2 cups split hulled yellow mung beans

4 to 5 cups filtered water

1 cinnamon stick

4 bay leaves

2 teaspoons ghee

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon Vata Seasoning or curry powder

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon asafetida

2 to 3 teaspoons organic plain yogurt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon raw organic sugar, such as Sucanat, or maple syrup


Freshly ground black pepper

1 – Put the mung dhal and its soaking water in a saucepan with the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Add more water if the dhal gets too thick.

2 – In a small sauté pan, heat the ghee over low heat. Add the mustard seeds and, when the seeds pop after a few minutes, stir in the ginger and Vata seasoning. Sauté, stirring, for two minutes; then, stir in the asafetida, cook one more minute, and remove from heat.

3 – Stir the mustard seed mixture nto the dhal. Stir in the yogurt, cilantro and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick before serving.

***For Pitta imbalance: Substitute crushed fennel seeds, MAPI’s Seasoning and omit the asafetida and bay leaves.

***For Kapha imbalance: Omit yogurt and substitute sunflower oil for the ghee.

***Dairy-free without the ghee


– Recipe graciously borrowed from “Eat. Taste. Heal. An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living” by Thomas Yarema, MD, Daniel Rhoda and Chef Johnny Branigan.