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Mudda Pappu Recipe | How to Cook Plain Dal (Lentils)

Mudda Pappu Recipe is a quintessential comfort food & the first course in any Andhra traditional meal, which is best savoured with rice & ghee.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course / Side dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 to 5
Author: Padma


  • 1 cup Tuvar dal Toor dal, kandi pappu or yellow lentils
  • 2 Cups water to boil lentils enough water for the lentils to immerse
  • Salt to taste


  • Pressure cooker method:
  • Measure and transfer the lentils into a bowl, strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shrivelled lentils, debris, or small rocks.
  • Thoroughly rinse under running water. Transfer to a bowl and add sufficient water and let it sit for 10 minutes (optional). Soaking time is not a must for lentils.
  • Transfer lentils along with water to a pressure cooker.
  • Close the pressure cooker with the lid and cook over medium high heat for about 3 whistles. Then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Open the lid of the pressure cooker once the pressure subsides.
  • Add salt to taste and mash it well.
  • Stove top method:
  • Transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in required water.
  • Bring the water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubbles and some slight movement in the lentils. Stir the lentils occasionally. The lentils are cooked when the water has been absorbed and they taste tender.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. You may need to add water as needed to keep the lentils slightly submerged.
  • Lentils are cooked as soon when the water has been absorbed and they are tender and no longer crunchy. Stir in salt to taste and mash well.


1. Any amount of lentils can be cooked in this manner. Just maintain the 2:1 ratio of water to lentils described below.
2. The cooking time of dal can be slightly reduced if the lentils are soaked for 15-20 minutes before pressure cooking them.
3. Always add salt to the dal after it is cooked, otherwise the lentils will remain hard.
4. Cooking times will also vary depending on the age of the lentils, which affects their moisture content.
5. If adding lentils to a salad or if you desire a firmer textured lentil in your soup or stew, only cook them until they have a tender but firm texture.
6. Similarly split yellow moong dal (pesara pappu) can be cooked on the same lines as tur dal and eaten with white rice and ghee. Pesara pappu cooks faster.
7. Dry roasting lentils and then cooking them will give a nice aroma to the plain dal.
8. Never miss an opportunity to add more flavour to your lentils if you do not like it plain—they can take a LOT.