This sweet and comforting porridge is packed with protein and incredibly filling, keeping you going all the way through to lunch. When I was a personal health-food chef, I found that at least 1 in 10 people couldn’t bring themselves to eat anything savoury first thing, so I created this to encourage us all to eat dal for breakfast. Mung beans contain protein that’s easy to digest if prepared properly. In Asia, beans and lentils are used in sweet dishes more often than not, and in India you can also eat a variation of this as a rich pudding. This is a more subtle breakfast version that can be pimped up or watered down to suit your needs, whether you want a breakfast to hike on or a breakfast to fast on!

The good news is that you don’t need to soak mung dal the night before — so this is a great porridge to get on with at the last minute. I also like to pop this in a slow cooker just before bed so it’s ready when I wake up. Toasting the mung dal gives it a nuttier flavour, but if you’re feeling lazy you can also skip that step.

Beware — if you use mung dal (which are tiny little split yellow mung beans) you’ll get sunshine in a bowl, but if you use whole mung beans with their green jackets you may end up with something one of my clients calls “Dung Dal,” ha!



100g (1/2 cup) mung dal (or whole mung beans, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight)
500ml (2 cups) water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
250ml (1 cup) full-fat coconut milk or whole milk
3 tbsp jaggery, maple syrup or coconut sugar
Seeds of 1-2 cardamom pods, ground
1.5cm (3/4 in) piece of fresh ginger, grated, or 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

To serve

1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp cashews, chopped
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp Dosha Churna Spice Mix (see page 247 East by West, no salt)


  1. Toast the mung dal in a dry frying pan until fragrant and lightly toasted. Simmer with the water, turmeric and coriander seeds, lid on, for about 15 minutes or until very soft.

  2. Mash the mixture well with the back of a spoon or blitz with a powerful blender, depending on your preferred texture.

  3. Stir in the milk, along with the jaggery, cardamom seeds and fresh ginger, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Melt the ghee in a small saucepan and toast the cashews, then stir in the raisins and cook for a

  5. few seconds until soft and puffy. Stir into the porridge and serve.

East by West Tip: To make this in a slow cooker, toast the mung dal as above and then add all of the ingredients and cook on high overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Then add the toppings.