Prepare mung beans: Rinse mung beans 2 to 3 times. Soak in fresh water for 2 hours, then drain. If you prefer to not soak them beforehand, simply rinse and drain them.
Saute aromatics: Turn on Saute and pre-heat the Instant pot. Add oil, cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle. Now add chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
Add tomatoes and spices: Add chopped tomato followed by salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander and cumin powder. Add a few tablespoons of water and stir everything. Cook for 2 minutes, until tomatoes break down. Using the back of your ladle, mash the tomatoes gently.
Stir in green lentils and water, then pressure cook: Add drained green moong dal and water, and give it a good stir. Scrape off any brown bits that may have stuck to the bottom. Cancel Saute and set pressure cook or Manual for 18 minutes, high pressure, on sealing mode.Note: For unsoaked beans, increase pressure cook time to 20 minutes.
Release pressure: Once cook time is done, wait for the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid when the pin drops.
Finish and serve: Check for seasoning. Using the back of your ladle, mash a few beans against the sides of the pot, this makes the curry creamy. To thicken more, simmer for a few minutes. Alternatively, to thin out the beans, add ¼-½ cup warm water. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or roti!
Optional Tadka (tempering)
Just before serving, heat ghee in a small sauce pan on medium heat. When hot, add heeng, sliced garlic and cumin seeds, and cook until garlic turns light golden. Add red chili powder and turn off the heat. Pour over cooked green dal and stir.
Mung Beans: Look for whole mung beans found at Indian grocery stores or the global section of large grocery stores , or on amazon.
Split Green Moong Dal: If you can only find split green lentils, reduce the pressure cook time to 5 minutes.
Soaking: I prefer to soak my mung beans for textural balance. Soaking beans also aids in digestion and reduces stomach upset and bloating.
Double the Recipe for Freezing: Easily double the recipe and keep the pressure cook time the same. Stash a batch in the freezer and enjoy the rest for meal prep throughout the week.