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5 from 2 votes

South Indian Green Tomato Dal, Thakkali Masiyal

A South Indian Green Tomato Dal or Thakkali Masiyal is a delicious summer treat. A vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free recipe.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Main/Dal
Cuisine: gluten-free, Indian, nut-free, South Indian Tamil, Soy-free, Vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 86kcal


  • Pressure cooker or Instant Pot (preferred but not necessary)
  • Saucepan


  • 3/4 cup mung lentils (moong dal or payatham paruppu)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • A generous pinch asafetida (hing or perungayam, optional)
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal or ulutham paruppu, optional)
  • 2 tbsp sambar powder (since sambar powders that are storebought can vary widely from each other and those that are homemade, it's a good idea to add a tablespoon first, check if you want more, and add the rest, a little at a time, if needed)
  • Salt to taste


  • Start out by cooking 3/4ths of a cup of mung lentils. This is easiest in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, but you can also do this on the stovetop. To cook on the stovetop, add 1/2 tsp of turmeric to the lentils, cover with 2 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and continue cooking another 20 minutes or until the lentils are very tender and mushy.
  • Chop 5 medium green tomatoes into a dice of about half an inch.

  • Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and when they start to sputter, add 1 tsp of the blackgram or urad dal, if using, a pinch of asafetida, if using, and 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, if using. If you’re not using the last three ingredients, just skip ahead and add the curry leaves next, saute them for a few seconds, then add the green tomatoes.
  • Stir everything well to mix, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover the saucepan and let the tomatoes cook about 5-10 minutes until they’re soft.
  • Add the cooked lentils or dal along with any remaining cooking water, add 1 tbsp of sambar powder and salt. Taste and add more sambar powder if needed -- I like about 2 tbsp in mine, but storebought brands vary widely from each other and from homemade versions.
  • Mix everything well and let the dal come to a boil. Add water at any stage if it starts to look too thick. When you add water, always check to see if you need more salt.
  • Let the dal continue to boil on low heat for another five minutes, then turn off the heat and add the cilantro.


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 11.3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1.8mg