Lentils are a store-cupboard staple but in Indian households, this simple pulse is the simple taste of home. Lentils are incredibly versatile ingredients that are high in protein and low in fat. The perfect choice for vegetarians and the way is used in Indian cooking, even meat lovers will enjoy!
What are lentils
Lentils are categorised as pulses. Put simply, a pulse is a dry legume that grows in a pod with up to 12 seeds. Pulses are part of the legume family, but for something to count as a pulse, it might be just the dried seed. Other types of pulses include beans, peas, and chickpeas.
On an Indian menu, you’d find this family favourite under the name of Dal (or daal, dahl – there can be a variety of spellings). On your plate, dal can often act as the perfect balancing act to other robust flavours. The soft texture and nutty taste is palate relief to spice and crunchy textures – a calming effect, so to say.
There are 4 main types of lentils that are commonly used in Indian cooking.
Masoor lentils are red split lentils and are most commonly used for quick dishes. They require no pre-soaking and take the least amount of time to cook. Masoor is the ideal choice for an everyday meal as a quick go –to.
Toor Dal is a dull yellow colour and can be found in many different South Indian specialities. You’ll find Toor dal in areas such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu where it is used to make sambar: a type of vegetable stew.
The deep ochre colour of Chana Dal provides bright contrast on your plate. This type of lentil is one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetable. This pulse has a familiarity to chickpeas.
Moong Bean Dal
Moong Dal with skins on is green and looks like a tiny bean. More of a special pulse as opposed to an everyday dish, it highlights the versatility and is mainly associated with the dessert Moong Dal Halwa.
The ultimate comfort food can be found in the perfect bowl of dal. Try some authentic dal dishes that can be ready in no time with Kohinoor. We have two dal Meals in Minutes that will transform your taste buds to India.