Also Known as
Split Bengal gram
A split and husked relative of chickpeas, Bengal gram is the most popular legume in India. Chana dal is delicious, nutritious and easily digested, but, aside from its usage both in dal dishes and savories, the legumes are also roasted and powdered into chickpea flour (besan), another widely used ingredient in nearly every regional cuisine. Chana dal is baby chickpeas that have been split and polished. They look and taste like small kernels of sweet corn and work well in soups, salads, and rice dishes.
Soaked and cooked chana dal
Clean the chana dal and remove any kind of stone or dirt. To soak chana dal, first wash it twice with water and then soak it in warm water. Drain it and boil it in vesselful of water or pressure cook till done.
How to Select
Soaked chana dal
Clean the chana dal and remove any kind of stone or dirt. To soak chana dal, first wash it twice with water and then soak it in warm water. Soaking in water reduces the cooking time - thereby saving on time as well as energy. Further you can make delightful dishes by just steaming it up with butter and spice it with boiled veggies and sauce of your choice. Or add it to any dish.
Chickpeas can be bought dried available all year round, and are easy to store. Dried chickpeas and can be bought already packaged, or in the bulk bin area of your local supermarket. If buying dried, inspect the beans to make sure they were stored in a covered container, are whole, unblemished, and have no moisture damage. Culinary Uses
· This is actually a type of split lentil, and is frequently used in Indian cooking as a thickener. It has a rich, almost meaty flavor.
· Combined with White Basmati Rice and Nan bread, it provides the essential amino acids for complete protein.
· It is best to soak these beans overnight or at least for a few hours, and then boil them for approximately 2 hours.
· If you do not like eating raw vegetables, then cook them with chana dal. That's the common practice at home.
· Coarsely crush the chana dal and use in Dhokla or Handwa, for that crunchy taste and increase the nutritional value.
· Bengal gram is often stewed with vegetables, especially bitter gourds and squashes. Chana Dal with Spinach and Louki with chana dal are very popular dishes.How to Store
Dried chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place of your kitchen for up to 12 months. Once chickpeas are cooked, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Always rinse and sort beans before cooking. Beans and lentils can have very small stones but this is rare. Small stones are difficult to remove from beans and lentils because stones are organic and have to be removed by human hands. Health Benefits
· Chana dal is high in fiber and help to lower cholesterol.
· Apart from having a great taste, it also has a very low glycemic index, which is important for those with diabetes. Chana dal can be a good food for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index.
· Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, folate, calcium and protein
· Chickpeas are low in fat and most of it is polyunsaturated.