Zucchini Moong Dal – Zucchini Pappu

A bowl of zucchini moong dal - a comforting side dish for rice and Indian flatbreads.

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Zucchini moong dal is a delicious Indian side dish for rice and Indian flatbreads.

A bowl of zucchini moong dal - a comforting side dish for rice and Indian flatbreads.

Theme of the week is cooking with one ingredient and the ingredient featured here is zucchini. Dals are integral part of Indian cuisine and often cooked along with vegetables. So today’s recipe is zucchini moong dal or zucchini pappu. Pappu is dal in Telugu.

How to prepare Zucchini Pappu?

First cook green gram or moong dal, then cook zucchini along with precooked green gram in a ghee or oil tempering. Tomatoes or lime juice is optional and adding either or both gives the dal a nice tangy flavor.

There are numerous ways to cook this dal with various combination of spices. Cook together precooked moong dal and zucchini to a desired consistency and pour a tempering over it or cook dal and zucchini in a tempering. If doing the latter, saute onions in the tempering, then cook pre cooked dal for few minutes and then add zucchini.

A plate of zucchini pappu served with rice and zucchini besan stir fry

Heat – I normally use green chili in dals except when preparing tomato dal or sambar. Today, I used red chilies and chili powder but green chilies are a good substitute. If using green chilies, pressure cook couple of chopped chilies along with moong dal. And another in tempering for more heat. If you like to weed out the green chilies, slit the chilies and add it to tempering and do not add any, when pressure cooking moong dal.

There are just too many ways to cook this dal and no matter how it is cooked, the end result is just a scrumptious dal! Stir fry in the pictures is yesterday’s zucchini gram flour stir fry.

A plate of zucchini moong dal with rice and zucchini stir fry

Zucchini Moong Dal Recipe

5 from 1 vote
A bowl of zucchini moong dal - a comforting side dish for rice and Indian flatbreads.
Zucchini Moong Dal
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Zucchini moong dal is a quick and delicious side dish for rice and roti.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: Comfort Food, Moong Dal, Quick & Easy Recipe, Side Dish, Zucchini Dal
Servings: 2
  • ¼ cup Moong Dal
  • 1 Tomato chopped about ½ cup
  • Few drops of Oil
  • ½ small Onion diced
  • 1 medium Zucchini diced 1 cup
  • 4 tsp Oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 6 Curry Leaves
  • 2 Red Chilies
  • 1 tsp crushed Garlic
  • ½ tsp Salt ¼ tsp Chili Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish
  1. Wash dal and pressure cook it along with tomatoes, few drops of oil and ¾ cups of water for 4 whistles or until dal is soft.
  2. Once pressure releases naturally, add water onions, zucchini and boil until zucchini is cooked.
  1. In a separate pan, heat oil, add mustard, cumin, curry leaves and red chilies. Let the seeds splutter and chilies change color.
  2. Add crushed garlic and fry until light golden brown.
  3. Add chili powder, turmeric and give a quick stir.
  4. Pour the tempering over dal keeping aside a spoonful for garnish. Cover and let the dal simmer for few minutes. Give a good stir, simmer for few minutes if the dal is too thin.
  5. Turn off the heat, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and remaining tempering.
Recipe Notes
  • Green Chilies - If you like green chilies in dal as we do, use 2-3 small green chilies instead of red chilies and chili powder. Add slit chilies to tempering or pressure cook moong dal with green chilies.
  • Lime Juice - Substitute tomato with 1 tbsp of lime juice.  If using lime juice, add it just before pouring tadka over dal.  You can use both tomatoes and lime juice, in which case use less lime juice and adjust it to your liking.  
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A bowl of zucchini dal.  A delicious Indian lentils cooked with zucchini and a side dish for rice and flatbreads.

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10 thoughts on “Zucchini Moong Dal – Zucchini Pappu

  1. My choice of vegetables for this kootu is chow chow or pumpkin. I will add zucchini to the list as well :-). Perfect comfort food there!

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