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Also known as
Black gram, Black lentil
Whole urad or black gram is a bean grown in southern Asia. Black gram has been cultivated in India since ancient times. 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 whole bean, or the split and de-husked variety are used to make dal, for accompanying rotis and rice. It is also used to make the famous south Indian idli and dosa.
In order to cook urad, you can boil it in water in a covered pot. Use two cups of water per cup of sprouts. Always keep the pot covered while boiling the urad. This way, it will cook a little faster, use less energy, and perhaps retain more vitamins. You will know the urad is cooked the beans split and the water turns syrupy. You may also pressure cook the urad with or without salt in boiling water for 7-10 minutes. Once cooked, you may add spices, vegetables or even boiled rice as per your preference and recipe requirements.
First, sort the urad to remove stones and other debris. Wash it thoroughly in water. Now, soak in warm water for xxxx hours, changing the water from time to time. Pouring off, and changing the water when soaking and cooking helps to get rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. Soaking helps to cook the dal thoroughly, to a soft consistency. It also makes it easier to digest.
How to select
• Urad is commonly available in all grocery stores, in packages and in bulk bins.
• Check the urad to ensure there is no contamination with stones and debris or infestation by pests.
• If buying pre-packaged, check the use-by date.
• Urad can be cooked in a covered pot or pressure cooker, and prepared with onion, ginger, garlic and spices.
• Whole urad can be ground into a batter, used in the preparation of dosa, idli, vada, and papad.
• It is popularly used in Punjabi cuisine, where it is known as sabit maash or minumulu.
How to store
• Store in a dry, airtight container away from direct sunlight.
• Whole urad, like other whole lentils and pulses, is a good source of protein and dietary fibre.
• It is low in fat and rich in B complex vitamins, calcium and potassium.
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