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Also Known as
Tuvar dal, Arhar dal, Split pigeon pea, Tovar dal, Tur dal, Thuvaram paruppu, Kandhi pappu
Skinned and split toovar or tooval dal is the most widely-used form of the lentil. It is used in popular recipes like south India sambhar, Gujarati dals, the famous puran poli and lots of other tasty dishes.
Toovar dal has a thick gelatinous or meaty consistency, and takes a little longer to cook than moong or masoor dal.
Soaked and cooked toovar dal
Sort the toovar dal to remove stones and other debris. Wash it with running water, and soak for for 30 minutes to 1 hour in warm water to make it easier to cook. Drain the soaking water, add fresh water and boil in a covered pot, or cook in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
Soaked toovar dal
Sort the toovar dal well to remove stones and dirt. Wash it in running water, and then soak in warm water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This makes the dal easier to cook.
How to Select
• Toovar dal is readily available in grocery stores, pre-packaged as well as in bulk bins.
• If buying pre-packaged, check the use-by date, and quality of packing. Look inside to packet to ensure the dal is not contaminated with debris or infested with insects.
• If buying from bins, make sure they are stored covered to keep away the dust, and that the store has a good turnover so you do not have to worry about old stock.
• Both oil coated and non-oil coated dals are available. If you buy annual stocks, you should prefer the oil-coated variety as it acts as a natural preservative. However, you should wash off the oil before use.
• If you buy small quantities at regular intervals, you can go for the non-oily version.
• When combined with rice, toovar dal supplies complete protein to your body, and is therefore a standard cooking ingredient in many communities.
• Boiled toovar dal, perked up with spices and a traditional tempering, makes a great dal to accompany rotis or rice.
• Together with tamarind pulp, vegetables and spices, toovar dal is used to make the delicious south Indian sambhar.
• Gujarati dal, a sweet and sour version made with toovar dal, can tickle your senses and palates!
• Toovar Dal Ni Khichdi is another favourite Gujarati delicacy.
How to Store
• Sort the toovar dal to remove stones and dirt particles.
• It can be stored for a year in a covered bin, in a cool and dry place.
• Adding bay leaves or dry red chillies to the dal will keep infestation at bay.
• If storing for a very long time, you might want to buy oil-coated pulses.
• It provides many of the nutrients your body needs, such as protein, fat and carbohydrates.
• It is especially rich in protein, the building block of good health. Combined with rice, it provides complete protein.
• It also has a good amount of iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.
• It is high in dietary fibre, low in saturated fat, and cholesterol free.
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