Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Is it time to introduce your little one to solid food? In this article, we present the many benefits of moong dal for babies aged 7 months to 3 years, and recipes for dishes your baby will love!

By Hannah S Mathew  • 14 min read

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

At seven months, your baby is biologically ready to start eating solids. At this stage, moong dal is an ideal transition food. Moong dal for babies is perfect because its composition is similar to mother’s milk. Here’s a chart showing its nutritional qualities:

Moong dal nutrition facts - 1 cup (207g, raw)

  • Calories 718 kcal
  • Total carbohydrate 130g
  • Dietary fibre 34g
  • Total fat 2.4g
  • Protein 49g
  • Vitamin A 235.98 IU
  • Vitamin C 9.9mg
  • Sodium 31.05mg
  • Calcium 273mg
  • Iron 14mg

Data based on USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) - National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Moong dal benefits for babies

  • The high protein content in moong dal can do wonders for your baby’s hair, skin, nails and growth.
  • The green husk is rich in soluble fibre which promotes digestion.
  • It has resistant starch which also helps digestion.
  • Ayurveda says that moong dal increases blood-circulation because it is rich in iron.
  • For the same reason, it prevents anaemia (low blood count).
  • The folate in moong dal boosts bone-marrow and brain function.

Introducing your baby to moong dal in solid or semi-solid form can be a challenge, because the taste and texture would be new to your little one. However, moong dal water for babies is considered second-best to breast-milk because of its texture and nutritive value. This makes it an ideal weaning food. So, begin with moong dal water, and slowly transition to soft-cooked moong dal dishes. You have moong dal recipes for soup, porridge, khichdi and halwa. Here are a few to get you started:

Moong dal recipe for babies (age 7 months to 1 year)

A. Stewed moong

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pinch each of asafoetida, turmeric and cumin powder
  • 2 pinches finely ground coriander leaves
  • 2 curry leaves, finely ground
  • 2 pinches ginger, finely ground
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the moong dal for half an hour and drain the water.
  • Pressure-cook with 2 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and half a teaspoon of ghee for 2 whistles.
  • Use a fork or large spoon to mash the dal. The end result should be lumpy, not puree-like.
  • In a small pan, heat half a teaspoon of ghee. Once the ghee is hot, turn the flame off.
  • Add the remaining ingredients carefully. Mix them well and reheat if required, on a low flame.
  • Add the tempered ghee to the mashed dal.

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

B. Juicy greens and moong

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split moong dal
  • 8 large leaves of spinach
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pinch each of asafoetida and turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • ¼ tsp lime juice
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them finely.
  • Soak the split moong dal for half an hour and drain.
  • Heat a pressure cooker and add the spinach, soaked moong dal, water, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Cook the mixture for three whistles.
  • In a pan, heat the ghee and turn the flame off.
  • Add the asafoetida and mix.
  • Stir the tempered ghee into the cooked spinach-dal, and stir well.
  • Add more water to make it runny.
  • Serve lukewarm.

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

C. Moong and carrot porridge

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pinch cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the moong dal for half an hour and drain.
  • Put the drained moong dal, chopped carrots, apple and water into a pressure cooker and cook for three whistles.
  • Heat ghee in a saucepan and turn off the flame. Add the powdered cardamom and stir.
  • Stir the tempered ghee into the dal mixture. It should appear creamy in texture.

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

D. Moong-apple meal

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 red, juicy apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the yellow moong dal for half an hour and drain.
  • Put it in a pressure cooker with the chopped apple, water, ghee and salt. Cook for 2 whistles.
  • Mash the cooked mixture to a lumpy texture.
  • Allow it to cool and stir in the lemon juice just before feed-time.

Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes

Nutrients in the above recipes

Carbohydrates, fibre, fat, protein, sodium, calcium, iron and potassium.

2. Age group: 1 year

A. Moong rolls

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked split green gram
  • ¼ green chilli (small), slit
  • 1 pinch of grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Add all the other ingredients to the green gram, and grind in an electric mixer.
  • Add enough water to give it a batter-like consistency.
  • Heat a pan and spread the batter on it very thin.
  • Turn it over before it gets crispy.
  • Spread some butter on it and roll it tightly.

This can also be served as finger food to your child. (Refrigerate any excess batter and use as required.)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

B. Steamed moong cakes

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup yellow moong dal
  • ¼ cup thick curd
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • 1 pinch cumin powder
  • 1 green chilli (small), slit
  • 1 pinch grated ginger
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 2 cashew nuts, ground
  • 1 tbsp carrot grated
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the yellow moong dal for 2 hours
  • Drain and grind it to a fine batter.
  • In a pan heat the ghee and turn the flame to its lowest.
  • Now, add all the ingredients, except the carrot and curd, to the ghee and mix well.
  • Use a whisk to add the curd to the batter.
  • Strain the tempered ghee and add it to the batter along with the carrots.
  • Steam the mixture in an electric steamer, or a stove-top one (an idli steamer can be used) till a toothpick inserted into the steamed ‘cakes’ comes out clean.
  • Let them cool before you serve them to your toddler.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

C. Spicy moong cookies

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup split yellow mung beans
  • ¼ inch ginger piece
  • 1 pinch red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 1 tsp melted ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A few sprigs of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • ¾ cup spinach finely chopped
  • ¼ cup onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the mung beans in hot water for an hour and drain.
  • Put the soaked mung beans, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, baking powder and ghee into a blender. Add a little water and blend till you get a smooth thick batter. It should be of cookie-batter consistency.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Centigrade.
  • Fold in the coriander leaves, spinach, onion and garlic into the batter.
  • Use an ice-cream scoop to place portions of the batter on a greased baking tray.
  • Glaze with oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Preparation time: 30 to 45 minutes

D. Moong diamonds

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 1 small green chilli (slit)
  • ¼ inch ginger piece
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp green peas boiled and mashed
  • 3 tbsp capsicum finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese / paneer, grated
  • ½ tbsp corn flour
  • 1 pinch cumin powder
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup egg-wash
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the mung beans for 2 hours and drain.
  • Add water, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Immediately drain and rinse it in cold water.
  • Put the mung beans, ginger, coriander leaves and green chillies into an electric grinder and grind coarsely.
  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  • Add the onions, paneer, peas and capsicum. Mix well.
  • Add cornflour, cumin powder and salt and shape into cookie-sized diamonds.
  • Glaze with egg-wash and roll each piece in the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and shallow-fry the diamonds till they are golden brown on both sides.
  • Cool before serving.

Preparation time: 30 to 45 minutes

Nutrients in the above recipes

Carbohydrates, fibre, fat, protein, sodium, calcium, iron and potassium.

3. Age group: 2 years

A. Moong veggie rice

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ½ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup French beans, chopped
  • ½ tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, slit
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp melted ghee
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and turn the flame to its lowest.
  • Add the cumin, cloves and bay leaves. Fry them lightly.
  • Add the carrots, beans and ginger and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and sauté for 3 more minutes.
  • Pour in the water.
  • Stir in the washed and drained moong dal, chilli, salt and turmeric.
  • Close and cook for 3 whistles.
  • Sprinkle the pepper and check other seasoning.

Preparation time: 30 to 45 minutes

B. Moong dal sandwich spread

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole moong dal
  • ¼ cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2½ tsp American mustard
  • 1½ tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dill, chopped
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 3 pinches pepper powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Cook, mash and cool the moong dal.
  • Add the onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, dill, turmeric and pepper.
  • Mix well, and adjust seasoning.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • Spread it on bread or on chapattis for a tasty and healthy meal.

Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes

C. Moong dal pudding

Moong Dal For Babies - Recipes, Health Benefits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 pinch cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron (optional)
  • 3 tbsp water

Method of preparation:

  • Wash and soak the yellow moong dal for 2 hours and drain.
  • Put it in a blender with the water and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Soak the saffron (if being used) in 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Add the blended paste, sugar and milk, and stir until the moong dal is cooked well.
  • Keep stirring until the mixture attains a khichdi-like texture.
  • Add the soaked saffron and milk, and cardamom powder and keep stirring till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

Preparation time: 30 to 45 minutes

D. Moong adai

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup idli rice
  • ¼ cup split yellow moong dal
  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • 2 tbsp black urad dal
  • ¼ inch ginger piece
  • 1 small green chilli, slit
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 50g grated coconut
  • Melted ghee (as required)
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Wash and soak all the dal (together) and the rice separately overnight.
  • In the morning, drain both.
  • Blend the rice and chilli with a little water to a thick, coarse batter and transfer to a bowl.
  • Blend the dal, cumin and ginger with a little water to a thick, coarse batter.
  • Mix the rice batter with the dal batter and let the mixture rest for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Add the shallots, salt, grated coconut, asafoetida and coriander leaves to the batter. Mix well.
  • Heat a frying pan and grease it well with the ghee.
  • Pour two tablespoons of the batter onto the pan and flatten it with the back of the ladle (do not try to spread it). Flip over and cook till golden brown and crisp on both sides.
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes

E. Cheesy moong

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked and mashed split moong dal
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch red chilli powder
  • Salt

Method of preparation:

  • Heat the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Allow it to rest.
  • Whisk in the milk, salt and chilli powder.
  • Add half the cheese. Cook on low flame.
  • Stir constantly till the mixture becomes a smooth sauce. Set it aside.
  • Place a layer of the mashed moong dal in a well-greased baking pan.
  • Pour a layer of the sauce over it.
  • Add yet another layer of mashed dal and yet another layer of sauce.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
  • Serve warm.

Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Nutrients in the above recipes

Carbohydrates, fibre, fat, protein, sodium, calcium, iron and potassium.

These recipes are guaranteed to stimulate your baby’s taste buds. They’ll help avoid the struggles that often happen at mealtimes as your baby is transitioning to solid food, and growing and exploring new flavours. The nutritive value of moong dal is retained in these recipes, while ensuring that your baby is introduced to a variety of textures and tastes.

Important: Please consult your baby’s paediatrician before starting her on solid foods. The first time you add a new ingredient to her diet, watch out for digestive problems or allergic reactions.

About the expert:

Reviewed by Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta on 15 October 2019

Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta is a paediatric nutritionist and director of NutriCanvas.

About the author:

Written by Hannah S Mathew on 20 September 2019; updated on 15 October 2019

Hannah S Mathew is an Assistant Professor of English, a freelance writer, soft skills trainer, learning content developer, mentor, diagnostic counsellor and devoted mom to a teenager.

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