5 Do’s And Don’ts Of Cooking Urad Dal

Urad dal is a staple in many Indian households. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used for dal makhani, dal vada, dahi vada, medu vada, kadhi, and dal pak. It is available in two variants in India - black (whole urad) and white (split and washed urad). The creamy lentil facilitates you to cook creamy dal, crispy vada, and nutritious soups and stews. 

Video Credit: Dal Makhani/ YouTube

One of the best recipes includes boiling dal and tempering it with onion, tomato, asafoetida, cumin seeds, and dry red chillies. It is paired with roti and rice because this is a comfort meal for many Indian households. Like any pulses, urad dal also requires you to pay attention during the cooking process so that you do not over or undercook the lentil. Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts that you need to be wary of to cook urad dal to perfection every time.

Do Add The Correct Amount Of Water

When cooking urad or any other type of dal, it is crucial that you are aware of the correct pulse-to-water ratio. For a cup of urad dal, you can add 2-3 cups of water, depending on the consistency you are expecting in the end. If you add too much water, the dish will come out soupy, and you don’t want that unless you are cooking it to make soup. 

Don’t Overcook Urad Dal

When you are cooking urad dal, you want the grains to become tender so that you can mash them with your fingers. This is the perfect texture, and you know that the dal is cooked to perfection. If you end up overcooking it, the grains will become mushy and lose their texture and nutritional value. If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, dal will be done in three whistles. If you are cooking it in an open vessel, keep checking in between to ensure you don’t end up overcooking it.

Do Soak Urad Dal

Cooking dal is an art, especially in India where most households consume it as a staple. Soaking before cooking is essential because it reduces the cooking time and prevents you from overcooking pulses. Urad dal needs to be soaked for at least 4-6 hours. If you are planning to cook urad dal for lunch, it is better to soak it the moment you get up in the morning. Soaking helps to soften the grains, making it easier to cook, especially in the pressure cooker. 

Don’t Store Urad Dal At Room Temperature

If you have cooked urad dal, the next step is storing it. Many people forget about it and leave it on the kitchen counter. Keeping urad dal at room temperature after cooking can spoil it. The best way to improve its shelf life is to store it in the refrigerator. It won’t go bad for a couple of days, and you can reheat and consume it without worrying about anything.

Do Temper And Season Urad Dal

If you are not sick, you would probably not like boiled urad dal. To enhance the flavours of the dish, it is a good idea to temper the grains with spices, including cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander seeds powder, ginger-garlic paste, and garam masala. Cook it with tomato and onion paste to make a comfortable bowl of dal that gels impeccably with steamed rice.