Mung Dahl

Mung Dahl

My friends and I are becoming fans of the amazing Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley and I have tried out some of their recipes and of course taken photographs in the process so I could share them with you.

Hemsley & Hemsley are all about nutrition and cooking in a way your body will thank you for! I think many will approve of their philosophy to food and cooking. You may have seen their impressive cookbook before, but if not, please let me recommend it to your cookbook collection:

Now I wanted to make their Mung Dahl, but as I was expecting vegetarian guests (and frankly, we are preferring to avoid meat more and more ourselves, I adapted their recipe a little. I think they said to use bone broth, whereas I used vegetable stock made from organic stock cubes. They also offered a choice of leafy greens, whereas I used baby spinach because it is so easy to stir in just before service.

One more thing I will mention to you now. This recipe makes an enormous quantity. We had two households in our garden (a total of ten people) and there was plenty of dahl for everyone. Although we did add flatbreads and some snacks with the dahl.

Normally I would probably only make half of this amount and would still expect it to last Robert and I a couple of days.


  • 500g mung beans (soaked overnight)
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, diced or grated
  • 1 x 2 inch piece of ginger, grated or finely diced
  • 4 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 8 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 3 large handfuls of coriander, finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves
  • 2 large limes or lemons
  • 1.5 litres of hot vegetable stock or hot water (or follow the Hemsley recipe for bone broth)
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil
  • Sea salt or Tamari to taste
  • 2 large pinches of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of ground turmeric
  • 2 tsps of ground coriander
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed


The preparation of this dish starts the night before (or early in the morning if you are planning on preparing the dahl for an evening meal). Cover and soak the mung beans overnight then drain and rinse thoroughly.

Bring the stock or water to the boil in a large saucepan (you can add more or less stock/water depending on whether you prefer your dahl more of a soupy consistency), and then add the mung beans.

Simmer on a medium heat, with a lid on. (I believed I had rinsed my soaked mung beans thoroughly but I was a little concerned with how murky they looked when I was simmering them – it did not seem to matter later on in the cooking.)

Meanwhile dry fry the spices in a large deep frying pan for one minute on a medium heat until fragrant – keep stirring to prevent burning (if you want to up the spice level even more, you can add either fresh or dry chilli at this point).

Gently heat the coconut oil/ghee in the same pan and fry the onions for ten minutes until soft – stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further five minutes on a gentle heat – regularly stirring to prevent over-browning.

Halfway through the mung beans’ cooking time, about twenty minutes in, add the carrots, celery and fried onions, garlic and ginger mix (keep back 2-3 tablespoons of the mix for garnishing each bowl at the end).

Add salt (or Tamari) and pepper, the chopped coriander ends and continue to cook with the lid on for a further fifteen minutes ocver a medium heat.

Add more stock/water if needed and stir at the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.

Serve with a handful of baby spinach stirred into each bowl of dahl (the heat will wilt the leaves) and top with a spoonful of the spiced onion, garlic, ginger mix. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with a wedge of lime or lemon.

The Hemsley sisters recommended their Mung Dahl recipe for anyone feeling under the weather, but it truly does make a very nutritious and tasty supper any time. We served it along with other accompaniments to guests earlier in this year when we entertained in the garden and the evenings were still rather chilly.


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