What’s the difference between Moong Dal and Toor Dal?
I’m sure many of you must be having this question about these two yellow dals from India.
Well, in today’s guide, let’s compare these two lentils and see how they differ from each other.
So, are you ready?
What Is Moong Dal?
Moong Dal is a byproduct of Mung Beans.
And it’s generally available in two types, i.e., Shelled and Deshelled.
Sometimes, we also refer to it as Green Gram.
Although the beans come in green color, the dal appears yellow after the processing.
For those who don’t know, we often use shelled dal to make different types of tadka style dal curries in India.
The whole beans are used to make various sabzi preparations, salads, chaats, etc.
Moong Dal is also quite prevalent in other parts of Asia.
What Is Toor Dal?
Toor Dal is widely known as Pigeon Pea.
In Hindi, it’s commonly known as Toor Dal, Tur Dal, Tuvar Dal, and Peeli Dal.
It is one of the most popular dals in the Indian subcontinent.
In Indian cuisine, Toor Dal is sometimes used as an alternative to Moong Dal.
Generally, we use the split and shelled dal to make homemade curries.
The deshelled beans are rarely used to make different delicacies in the country.
History of Toor Dal
Did you know?
Toor Dal is believed to have originated in India around 3500 years ago.
Yes, it is an indigenous dal, which got domesticated in the early years of human civilizations in this part of the world.
In the modern era, though, it has gained popularity in other distant places like Africa and South East Asia.
Toor Dal is now also available in pretty much all major Indian and Asian grocery shops around the world.
In the next section, I am going to share the similarities and differences between Moong Dal and Toor Dal.
So, firstly, let’s try and understand the similarities between these two dals.
Moong Dal vs. Toor Dal – Similarities
|Moong Dal||Toor Dal|
|Origin||Indian Subcontinent||Indian Subcontinent|
|Mostly Used For||Dal and Curry Preparations||Dal and Curry Preparations|
|Storage Life||Long; More Than 1 Year||Long; More Than 1 Year|
|Availability||Easily Available||Easily Available|
I hope you found some interesting similarities in the above comparison table.
Let’s discuss some of these factors more for better understanding.
As you know, color is the one characteristic that sort of links most of the dals together.
Of course, we do have other varieties of dals that come in different colors.
Masoor Dal has got reddish tone to it, whereas Urad Dal is known for its dark black color.
But yellow color has become quite synonymous with traditional dals.
As for Moong Dal and Toor Dal, both of them have the same color.
And that’s a crucial similarity in this comparison!
2. Preparation Style
You can prepare both these dals in a similar style.
Both can be cooked in a pressure cooker or vessel, though the pressure cooking method is far more effective in getting the right consistency for various curry preparations.
In case you don’t know, this type of preparation style is regularly used to make homemade dals in India.
You only have to prepare a tadka, which can be prepared in the beginning or after the preparation of dal.
So, that’s another common factor between Toor Dal and Moong Dal.
3. Flavors Absorption
Both these dals absorb flavors well when you cook them with other ingredients.
And that’s a common feature of many other dals as well.
If you add some flavorful spices to the preparation, you will notice how beautifully they blend in with the cooked dal mixture.
The same thing happens when you use it to make different types of Sambars and other such preparations.
And when you enjoy it with Dosa or Idli, you hardly ever get to notice the flavors of these dals.
It’s not a significant factor, and we never get to hear about any scarcity of dals in India.
The reason behind it is the demand and supply process.
In India, Moong Dal and Toor Dal have got the status of staples, and most Indian families use them for daily consumption.
Hence, the government authorities always ensure there is enough stock of various dals and rice in the country.
Due to this policy, the production output of these staples often ends up in surplus stock.
And as a result, both Moong Dal and Toor Dal remain available in the stores throughout the year.
There may be some exceptions, especially during crisis situations.
But generally, these dals are available in abundance for consumption.
5. Storage Life
Storage is another important aspect when it comes to the similarities between Moong Dal and Toor Dal.
Since dals are dry in nature, they tend to have a longer shelf life than many other ingredients.
They don’t get spoiled quickly, especially if there is not much moisture around.
If you keep them in an airtight container, they can easily last you for more than a year.
Thus, the shelf life is a commonality between these two dals.
Well, these are some of the similarities between Toor Dal and Moong Dal.
Now, let’s have a look at the differences.
Moong Dal vs. Toor Dal – Differences
|Moong Dal||Toor Dal|
|English Names||Green Gram or Moong Lentil||Pigeon Pea|
|Taste and Flavor||Mild; Sweetish||Earthy; Distinct|
|Cooking Time||Cooks faster due to small lentil size||Takes a little bit of more time due to large size lentil|
|Other Uses||Paratha, Halwa, Kachori||Payasam, Sambar|
|Price||Costlier than most of the dals||Cheaper than Moong Dal|
Here’s a detailed explanation on some of the important differences –
Size is probably the easiest differentiating factor between Moong Dal and Toor Dal.
Moong Dal (split and shelled) comes in a very small size, whereas Toor Dal looks a bit bigger in size.
You can compare their sizes in the following photo.
As you can see above, they are quite different from each other.
And you can easily identify them without even looking at other factors.
Still, if you are new to the kitchen world, you might get confused between all yellow color dals available in the store.
So, it’s better to request the shopkeeper who can tell you more about these lentils.
And hopefully, you will be able to take the right dal variety to your home.
Like many other varieties of dals, Moong Dal can be used for making savory as well as sweet dishes.
Moong Dal Halwa is one such popular sweet delicacy, which is made out of these lentils.
But if you make the same halwa with Toor Dal, it doesn’t taste as tasty as the above variation.
Similarly, you can prepare Payasam with Toor Dal, and it tastes different from Moong Dal Payasam.
Therefore, even if these are simply two dal varieties, their uses are different from each other.
Of course, we can make Tadka Dals with them, but that’s perhaps the only common thing as far as uses are concerned.
Moong Dal obviously gets more price than most of the dals in India, and it includes Toor Dal too.
Well, you might wonder why there is so much price difference between these dals.
The answer is in the taste and other beneficial properties.
Moong Dal tastes better than Toor Dal, and it also cooks faster due to smaller lentil size.
And like I said earlier, it has got many beneficial properties that are not present in other varieties of dals.
Hence, the selling price is one of the major differences between the Moong Dal and Toor Dal.
On that note, let’s take a look at the following FAQs section.
In this section, you will find useful answers to some of the commonly asked questions by the readers.
Yes, Moong Dal is better than Toor Dal in many ways.
It has a subtle mild flavor, which doesn’t overpower the taste and flavor of the preparation.
It also has many beneficial properties as compared to Toor Dal.
No, they are different.
Toor Dal grows as a perennial plant, whereas Moong is an annual vine.
There are many other differences between these two types of lentils, which you can find in the above comparison guide.
It is called Green Gram or Moong Lentil in English.
Toor Dal is called Pigeon Pea in English.
Yes, it is a lentil, and it hails from the family of legumes.
Over To You
Did you like this comparison guide on Moong Dal and Toor Dal?
I’m sure you got to learn so many interesting facts about these two Indian lentils.
If you still have any more doubts or questions in your mind, do leave a comment below.
And I will try to resolve them for you.
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Sangram Nayak says
Nice read. Got to know these 2 common dals closely. Would be great if you could include the nutritional properties of both the dals. Thanks!
Thank you for the feedback, Sangram!
I can’t share those details in this guide because I’m not an expert in that field. I hope you understand.
dorothy heldt says
Wow!! Did not know Toor dhal was also called pigeon peas. We bought these in tins in England. I have never cooked Toor dhal – it looks oily in the packet & simply assumed it would take a long time to cook. I must give it a try now that I have an instant pot.
Can I mix dhals? What is the best combination? Thanks again
You can surely mix dals while preparing curry.
Personally, I prefer the combination of Toor Dal, Moong Dal, Masoor Dal, Urad Dal, and Chana Dal. You can mix them in equal quantities or reduce the quantity of Toor Dal, Urad Dal, and Chana Dal.
If you can’t find all these dals, you can make a combination of 2-3 dals. But make sure you use Moong or Toor Dal for your mix dal preparation.