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Whole urad dal is a bean grown in southern Asia. It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds . Black 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 whole or after splitting into dal.

Boiled 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 cana lso pressure cook the soaked urad dal with or without salt in boiling water for 5-7 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 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 whole urad dal for their expiry date. They should be dust free and without stones and other debris. The product sold as "black lentil" is usually the whole urad bean or urad dal.

Culinary uses

" Whole 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..
" Whole urad 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 whole urad dal in an air tight container.

Health Benefits

" Whole urad like other whole 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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