Split Moth Bean Masala Dal

Split and de-husked small brown-colored beans (popular as ‘Matki’) is known as ‘Muth or Moth dal.’ ‘Dew’ beans and ‘Turkish gram’ are some other names for the same types of beans. Whole beans matki curry and misal (a particular type of curry preparation with mixtures), is a popular and well-known snack in Maharashtra, India.

Moth dal is not a widely popular dish. In this recipe, I’m going to share this unique style of dal preparation using the split moth beans. It’s my mom’s signature recipe and tastes incredibly delicious.


Masala Base Ingredients
(Note: As I use this masala in many types of curries, the proportions mentioned here are quite a bit more than required for the actual masala dal preparation.)

  • One and ½ cup of dried coconut.
  • One cup caramelized red onion.
  • ½ cup deep-fried red onions.
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds.
  • Ten large cloves of garlic.
  • 1-inch organic ginger.
  • Handful of cilantro with stems.
  • 2 tsp dry roasted poppy seeds.
  • 3 tsp pan-roasted cilantro seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder.
  • One strand mace.
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick.
  • 3 to 4 black peppercorns.
  • 1 tbsp of Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • 3 tbsp oil.
  • 1 tsp salt.

Dal Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked moth dal.
  • 3 tbsp masala base.
  • ½ tsp turmeric.
  • 1 tsp Goda masala.
    (Goda masala is a popular masala used in Maharashtrian cooking. I used one that my mom makes at home, but you can find one in most of the Indian grocery stores. I am going to share the recipe on my blog in the near futureIf you don’t have Goda masala, substitute it with garam masala.)
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds.
  • 2 tbsp oil.
  • 2 dry red cherry chilies.
  • Salt as per your taste.


Masala Base Recipe

  • Dry roast dried coconut, sesame seeds, cilantro seeds, cumin, poppy seeds, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg powder, and black pepper separately.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Sauté ginger, garlic, and cilantro for a couple of minutes.
  • Next, add fried onions, caramelized onions, and other masala base ingredients in a blender.
  • Pour little water and blend the mixture to a fine paste.
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and transfer the masala paste in it, as shown in picture # 5.
  • Keep stirring till the water evaporates, and the color changes (as shown in picture # 6).

Dal Recipe

  • Clean, wash, and soak moth dal for 10 minutes.
  • Add soaked dal, 1 & ½ cup water, salt, and turmeric in a pressure cooker.
  • Cook the dal only for one whistle as we don’t want dal to get mushy. (Refer to the picture # 7 for texture and consistency.)
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and add mustard seeds once the oil is hot.
  • Once mustard seeds start spluttering, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and Goda masala. Mix well.
  • Next, add masala base and little water. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked moth dal in the wok, add some water, sprinkle salt & cilantro, and let it come to a boil.
  • Transfer the dal in a serving pot.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds after the oil is hot.
  • Add red chilies once mustard seeds start spluttering and sauté for a minute.
  • Pour the tempering on the dal.
  • Garnish and serve the flavorful masala dal.

Split moth bean masala dal tastes incredibly delicious and pairs well with steamed plain white rice.

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