Pulses and Lentils

Pulses or Daals

Pulses form a nutritionally significant item of diet in Indian meals. When combined with cereals, they form a complete protein source for vegetarians.  For an average Indian Daal-Roti or Daal-Chawal is something they eat at least once in a day.   It provides a vegetarian person a balanced protein and fiber combination.  It is a cheapest protein.  Also, different variety of lentils give us different amount of protein.  For eg. Split pea is a high protein lentil which is good for correcting kuf & Pitta dosh in our bodies, on the other hand moong daal is light in protein and easy to digest.

Some commonly used lentils in India are Bengal gram (channa), black gram (urad), red gram or split pea (arhar ) green moong (moong)  and coral lentils (masoor), traditionally also served with either Roti (handmade bread) or chawal (rice).    For an average Indian household, Daals are cooked at least once in a day.  They are easy to do meals, and top the chart of comfort meal preparation in Indian kitchens.

Lentils are used not only to make a daal dish, but it can used to make dishes like Idli (rice-lentil based steamed cakes), Chilla (savory moong lentil Crepe), sprouts, or can be used as flours like besan (chickpea flour).

Cooking pulses takes longer in comparison to green vegetables, as they are dehydrated.  Hence soaking them for some time is best to reduce the cooking time.  The whole legumes like Chhole (chickpeas), Rajmah (kidney beans), sabut urad (whole black gram)  takes much more longer to cook.  They are better if soaked overnight in normal water, if the preparation time is less soak in hot water.   Any split lentil is good to cook after soaking for 20 to 30 minutes.  For best results, rinse a couple of times and then soak.   Adding soda bicarb is not suggested as it destroy Vitamin B12.

In general,  whole lentils takes longer to cook, and longer to digest.  The split lentils are easier to cook, and are more easy to be digested.

We will be seeing recipes time to time to make easy Daal, special Daals, dry daal, etc.  They are best for all buffet, so if you are planning an Indian meal, try some Daal!