white urad dal

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Whole urad dal is a bean grown in southern Asia. The urad split without shells is referred as white or dehusked urad dal. Often called white gram, these creamy white lentils are used in purees and soups. They are also the special ingredient added to flours to make breads, dosa (crepes), idlis (steamed cakes) and sweets. No soaking is required. It is largely used to make dal. White gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It is an erect, sub-erect or trailing, densely hairy annual herb. The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to 6 cm long. The bean is boiled and eaten after splitting into dal.

Soaked urad dal - wash the ural dal after cleaning it off the stones or pebbles. There is no need to soak the dal before boiling. Howver for recipe which require the dal to be ground need the urad dal to be soaked for 4-6 hours. The soaked dal can be ground into a fine or coarse paste as per recipe requirement or boiled further to make puree.

Boiled white urad dal -As the name suggests refers to the urad dal which are boiled. You can use two cups of water per cup of lentils. These proportions are based on cooking with the pot cover on. This way, it will cook a little faster, use less energy, and perhaps retain more vitamins. Bring the concoction to a boil, then turn the down the flame to medium-low. If it gets too thick, add more water. The beans are cooked when they burst and the water turns syrupy.
You can also pressure cook the soaked urad dal with or without salt in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. The beans are cooked when they burst and the water turns syrupy. At this point , you may add spices, vegetables or even boiled rice as per your preference and recipe requirements

Parboiled white urad- Parboiling is a cooking technique in which soaked urad are partially cooked in boiling water, but removed before it is cooked all the way through. Many recipes call for parboiled urad as they longer to cook. Parboiling them in advances ensures that they get completely cooked in the final dish.

How to select

Check the pre packaged white urad dal for their expiry date. They should be dust free and without stones and other debris. The product sold as "white lentil" is usually the dehusked and split urad bean or urad dal.

Culinary uses

" White urad beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft.They are then cooked as any other dal is cooked with onion, ginger, garlic and spices..
" White urad dal can be ground into flour or paste, and extensively used in culinary preparation like dosa, idli, vada, and papad.
" It is very popular in Punjabi cuisine of India and Pakistan where it is known as "sabit maash" and "minumulu.

How to store

Store white urad dal in an air tight container.

Health Benefits

" White urad like other lentils and pulses are good source of protein and dietary fibre.
" They are low in fat and rich in B complex vitamins, calcium and potassium

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