Know your ingredient

Dals/Lentils

The term ‘Dal or dhal’ refer to the dried legumes and also the dishes like stews and soups made using them.  They are available in whole or split form either with or without skin. In India, we cook the lentils everyday freshly though it requires more time to soak and cook.

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Tuvar dhal/ Toor dhal/ Pigeon peas

(Thuvaram paruppu, thuvara parippu, arhar dhal, kandhi pappu)

Split husked dried pigeon peas or yellow lentils also known as kardis, gandule beans, no - eye peas, congo or gungo peas. Whole pigeon peas, when split are called Toor dal.  The denser texture means that this requires longer soaking and longer cooking times than other dals. Any oily coating should be thoroughly rubber and rinsed away before cooking.

Black Gram/ Urad dhal

(uluththam paruppu, ulunnu, urid dhal, udatha pappu)

With their black husk and white centre, these are called ‘black lentils’ when whole and ‘white lentils’ when split and husked. Whole urad dals look like green mung beans and can be substituted for the same in soups. Split urad dals are mostly used for Tadka.