Packed with protein and low on carbs, moong dal (also known as green gram) is one of the most recommended vegetarian superfoods. An integral part of the Indian diet, it is extremely light and easy to digest.
Compared to other dals, moong dal is low on carbs, making it a healthier option. One of the more important benefits of moong dal is its protein content. A 100 g serving of the dal can provide you with about 3 g protein.
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Moong Dal Benefits
Adding moong dal to your daily diet can have a range of health benefits, thanks largely to their high nutrient content. Here are 6 reasons for you to include these split pulses in your diet:
1. Aids Weight Loss
Moong dal helps enhance the functioning of the cholecystokinin hormone. This makes the body feel full after eating, and improves your metabolism rate too. Thus, moong dal contributes to controlling weight.
2. Improves Heart Health
This yellow dal is rich in potassium and iron. The former helps lower blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. It also helps protect the body against an irregular heartbeat. Its light and easy-to-digest nature make it a great food for those suffering from hypertension.
3. Rich in Nutrients
Moong dal is a nutrient-rich food. They’re packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper. In addition to this, they also contain folate, fiber, fiber, and vitamin B6, apart from loads of high-quality protein.
Rich in B-complex vitamins, moong dal helps your body break carbohydrates down to glucose, and produce usable energy for your body. The folic acid present in it also helps maintain healthy brain function and in the production of DNA. Moong dal also contains some amounts of vitamin E, C and K.
Moong dal is particularly rich in dietary fiber. A single cup serving can provide between 40.5 and 71 percent of the recommended daily intake of the nutrient. This dietary fiber content helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, while also preventing dietary complications. A high fiber intake also reduces the risk of overeating thanks to its ability to make one feel full.
The body requires relatively large amounts of protein, making it a macronutrient. The high protein content in moong dal makes it a great source of the nutrient for vegetarians. Moong Dal sprouts contain Globulin and Albumin as the main storage proteins. They make up over 85% of the total amino acids found in these sprouts. Make them complete protein by eating moong dal with a cereal like rice, roti, or millet.
The high protein content contributes to building and repairing tissues, while also being a building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, blood, and skin.
4. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Moong dal has a low glycemic index. It helps bring down the insulin, blood glucose and fat levels in the body. In turn, this helps keep blood sugar levels under control, and diabetes in check.
5. Improves Digestive Health
The consumption of moong dal helps produce a fatty acid called butyrate in the gut. This helps maintain the health of the intestinal walls. The dal has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent and accumulation of gas. In addition to that, moong dal has also been proven to be easy to digest, making it good for digestion as well.
6. Boosts Blood Circulation
Iron helps in the proper production of red blood cells. This, in turn, prevents anaemia and improves the overall blood circulation in the body.
The proper circulation of blood helps supply oxygen to various organs and cells in the body, and in the process, optimises their performance.
Nutritional Value of Moong Dal
Although they are almost the same, the nutritional values of green and yellow moong dal vary ever so slightly. Here’s a comparison of the same:
|Green Moong Dal (Split with Skin)||Yellow Moong Dal|
Preparation of Moong Dal
Sprouted moong dal is a powerhouse of nutrition. They contain abundant enzymes, protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Select good quality seeds for sprouting. Clean and wash the moong beans and soak them overnight or for 7-8 hours (see to it that the beans are submerged in water). The day after, rinse the beans well and drain the water. Now, look at the seeds below. They should be swollen and plump. Some may have even sprouted a little.
Drain the water completely. Wet a thin cotton cloth, squeeze out excess water, transfer the moong beans in it and hang it loosely to drain the remaining water if any.
Then keep the cloth along with the moong beans in a vessel at room temperature.
Cover with a lid and leave it overnight undisturbed. (The cloth should be damp and care should be taken to ensure that there is no water stagnant in the vessel.)
On the third day, you will see that the seeds have sprouted well. If you are not going to use immediately, it can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Moong dal can be pressure-cooked along with chopped onions, tomatoes, chillies and ginger-garlic paste, and then tempered with jeera in ghee. Cooked moong dal along with jaggery and milk is used in Tamil Nadu to make an elaichi-tinged kheer called payasam. It can be soaked in water and ground into a batter for dal dosa or uttappam. Split lentils don’t hold their shape well, so they’re often cooked into soups or purées. Boiled moong dal is also used as a stuffing for parathas.
Moong Dal Recipes
Enjoy the goodness of green gram, and reap its many benefits. Try these incredibly delicious recipes.
1. Low Cal Moong dal Halwa recipe
1 cup Yellow moong dal
1/2 cup grated Jaggery
2 cups Low-fat milk
2 tbsp Cow’s ghee
1 tbsp Almond slivers
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- Soak moong dal in warm water for 10 minutes. Then drain out the water from the container.
- Take the dal in a non-stick pan and roast it till it turns light brown.
- Once roasted, cool it and then grind it into a fine powder.
- In the same pan, take ghee and heat it. Then, fry the almond slivers till it turns light brown. Drain the resulting mixture and keep it aside.
- Add the powdered moong dal to the ghee and roast it for 5 more minutes on a slow flame. Wait till the dal is coated well with ghee.
- Slowly add low-fat milk to the milk. Stir well while adding, in order to avoid the formation of lumps.
- Cook the resulting mixture for 2 minutes.
- Now, add the grated jaggery to the mix, and keep stirring until it comes together. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Finally, add cardamom powder to the above mixture and serve it hot.
Nutritional breakdown per serving
Calories – 121
Carbs – 18 g
Protein – 4 g
Fat – 4 g
Fibre – 0.6 g
2. Moong Dal Paneer Toast
Egg eaters can substitute the paneer topping in this recipe with scrambled eggs, another excellent source of protein.
2 slices of multigrain bread
½ cup low fat paneer, crumbled
1/2 cup of green moong dal, soaked
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp each coriander and mint leaves
1/4 tsp chaat masala
1 green chilli, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ghee
- Grind the moong dal without water to a coarse paste.
- Apart from bread, mix all the ingredients together.
- Apply the mix on the other side as a thick stuffing.
- Spread little ghee on a hot non stick pan.
- Place the bread and cook for 2 minutes.
- Flip and cook the stuffing side till light brown.
- Serve hot with a dip of your choice.
Nutritional breakdown per serving
Calories – 230
Carbohydrates- 31 g
Protein – 15 g
Fat – 5 g
Fiber – 5 g
3. Moong Dal soup
100 g moong dal
60 g onions
1 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
- Boil the green gram in a slow cooker. You may need to add 500ml of water to cook the lentils.
- Heat oil. Add sliced onions, mustard and chillies. After a couple of minutes, add the cooked lentils and add salt. Let it boil for a few minutes, then serve.
Nutritional Breakdown(for 42.6g)
Protein 6.6 g
Fat 1.4 g
Carbs 16.4 g
4. Moong Dal Chila
250 g moong dal (green gram), soaked in water for an hour
4-5 pieces of green chillies
¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1 onion, finely-chopped
1 tomato, finely-chopped
10 ml oil
Salt to taste
- Wash the soaked moong dal thoroughly and drain the excess water.
- Put moong dal, green chillies, salt, haldi and hing in a grinder and grind into a smooth paste. You can add a little water if required.
- Pour the batter in a large container and check the seasoning by just taking a bit of batter on your forefinger and tasting it. It is important because once you have made the chilas, you will not be able to adjust the taste.
- Now switch on the gas and put a pan on the stove. Pour a tablespoon of oil and let it heat. Now roast a piece of loaf or a chapati over it and then remove it. Wipe the tava with a kitchen towel and then sprinkle some water. Be careful and just move away from the tava after sprinkling water. Wipe it again with the kitchen towel.
- Now again pour a tablespoon of oil on the tava and heat it. This time pour two big spoonfuls of batter on tawa and spread it evenly like ‘dosa’. If you are not an expert in making dosa and chila then start with small chila by pouring just one big spoon of batter.
- When one side is cooked, apply some oil on the surface of the chila and then carefully flip it to the other side. While the other side it being cooked, just keep some chopped onions, green chillies, tomatoes and green coriander at the centre of chila and fold in half. Keep it for a second and then take it out on a plate.
- Follow the procedure to make more chilas. Serve hot with green coriander chutney.
Energy 71.7 kcal
Protein 1.3 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 5.2 g
Moong dal’s low-carb, high-protein content is the reason behind its many benefits. Enjoy some of these health benefits of the superfood by trying out some delicious recipes given above.