recipe: indian comfort food…mag ni dal (yellow lentils)

I was in San Francisco last weekend visiting my sister-in-law Arti and somehow managed to catch something nasty.  It’s been days and I’m finally, FINALLY feeling somewhat back to normal…although not 100% yet.  I even have some of my appetite back too.  So today, I wanted to post a recipe that is hands down one of my favorite Gujarati/Indian dishes ever…especially when I’m not feeling the best.


Mag ni dal is  complete comfort food for me, kind of like what chicken soup does for most Americans when they’re not well.  Plus, mag ni dal brings back memories of my childhood…watching my mom whip it up in no time and eating with her, my dad and my brother.  I’m already feeling much better thinking about that.

Mag is basically yellow moong lentils and you can find them at any health food store like Whole Foods or at your local Indian grocery market.  These lentils are packed with protein, are rich and like I mentioned before…comforting.  Try this out the next time you’re in the mood for something warm and soothing.  Also, this is great for toddlers too just minus the spices…just add a tad salt and turmeric and you’re good to go.

What’s your go to comfort food for when you’re under the weather?


recipe: indian comfort food…mag ni daal (yellow lentils)

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • Yellow moong dal – 1 cup
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 3 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – just a pinch
  • Turmeric – just a pinch
  • Onion – 1/2 chopped finely (optional)
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Green Chili – 1 or 2 (depending how spicy you like it)
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp grated
  • Tomato – 2 small, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  1. Wash and soak the dal in warm water for at least 1½ hours. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Either finely chop the chili and grate the garlic or chop in food processor/coffee grinder
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  4. Once you hear crackling sounds, be careful and add in asafoetida, chopped green chili and turmeric.
  5. Add chopped onion (if using) and cook till transparent.
  6. Add in the garlic, ginger and tomato and mix together. Cook for 5 or so minutes.
  7. Add the moong dal, salt and sufficient water (about 1/2 to 1 cup) and bring to a boil.
  8. Then turn down to medium low and let cook for another 10 – 15 minutes or until you have a creamy consistency.
  9. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  10. Serve hot with basmati rice and rotli (Indian/Gujarati flat bread) or naan.


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