Try Different Indian Dals From These 6 Lentils At Home
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Dal are split, dried pulses used in Indian cuisine that don't need to be soaked beforehand. The world's largest producer of pulses is India. The dal also refers to other soups made with these pulses. These pulses are among the most significant staple foods in South Asian nations and constitute a significant component of Indian sub-continental cuisines. 

In the Indian subcontinent, dahl recipes are consumed with rice, chapati, and naan. Every location has a different way of cooking and presenting it. Dal is often called "paruppu" in South India. Sambar is the main meal made in the south representing daal while pilli daal in the north is a household staple. 

The most popular way to prepare dal is as a soup with other ingredients like onions, tomatoes, and spices. Tempering techniques with different spices are also used to prepare dal, adding flavour. Here are the top six lentil dals one can try. 

Indian Dals From These 6 Lentils To Try

1. Masoor Dal (Red Lentils)

Masoor dal is known for its quick cooking time. It turns a golden colour when cooked and has a sweet taste. This is the most common dal that is made in India. To prepare masoor dal, rinse the lentils thoroughly, then cook them with water, turmeric, and salt until soft. You can temper the dal with cumin seeds, garlic, and green chilies for added flavour. Masoor dal can be prepared in various ways, such as masoor dal tadka, masoor dal curry, or masoor dal soup. According to NIH, Masoor dal is rich in protein, fibre, iron, and folate.

2. Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas)

Toor dal is also one of the most commonly used dals in Indian cooking. It has a mild, nutty flavour when cooked. Cooking toor dal is the same as masoor with lots of garlic and tomatoes. You can use mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies for tempering. Toor dal can be cooked as sambar, dal fry, or added to vegetable stews. It is also used to make traditional South Indian dishes like rasam. 

3. Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)

Chana dal is made from split chickpeas and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. It retains its shape well when cooked, making it ideal for soups, stews, and curries. To prepare chana dal, soak it for a few hours, then cook it with onions, tomatoes, and spices. According to NIH, chana dal is high in protein and dietary fibre, making it a nutritious option for vegetarians and vegans. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, manganese, and folate, essential for energy production and immune function.

4. Moong Dal (Split Mung Beans)

Moong dal is known for its light and easily digestible nature. It is a Bengal favourite. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavour and cooks relatively quickly. You can temper it with ghee, cumin seeds, and garlic. It goes very well with parathas and rice. Moong dal khichdi, or moong dal pakoras, is a popular dish made from the dal. USDA confirms that moong dal is low in fat and cholesterol yet high in protein and dietary fibre. 

5. Urad Dal (Black Gram Lentils)

Urad dal is rich dal. It is rarely made independently but is popularly used in various South Indian dishes. It is commonly used in dishes like dal makhani and idli. To prepare urad dal, one can use ghee, mustard seeds, and asafoetida to enhance its flavour for tempering. Also, It can be sprouted and added to salads or used in stir-fries. NIH studies show it is good for potassium, calcium, and iron intake.

6. Moth Dal (Matki or Turkish Gram)

Moth dal is unique. It is often used in Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisine. To make moth dal, rinse it thoroughly and cook it with the temper of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, which support bone health and muscle function. These benefits have been confirmed by NIH too. 

Some are brilliant in taste, while some enhance the dishes with the additions. The list is surely endless. One needs to try various lentils and pulses to bring variety and health to the meals.