What is the most satisfying meal for any Indian? It is dal and chawal.
What is the favourite meal of any hungry Indian…no prizes for guessing, dal and chawal again…
Dal and chawal are to an Indian what burger is to a teen…
A regular in every Indian kitchen, this wholesome khaana is full of nutrition and proteins, making it a classic combo unbeatable even in today’s digital and fast food times. And when we say dal, it implies anything from the toor to masoor, moong to urad variety.
While dal is good in general, if you prefer to go for the organic one, here are a few ways you can differentiate between the two…
But first, what you need to know…
Organic dals are eco-friendly as they are harvested through the process that involves natural irrigation, natural compost, manures, and fertilisers that are free of chemicals and toxins.
Additionally, the traditional methods of hand-milling are used for dals and other pulses. This involves minimal chafing which retains the nutrients and taste of these food products. This merits the fact that organic dals are great for your digestive system as it reduces acidity and digestive-GI related ailments.
But how do we identify the organic dal? Read on to find out…
The logo that says ‘organic’
Organic certification is a must for all produce organically cultivated. With growing interest in this type of food, the spotlight falls on organic farming too. Growers and farmers who cultivate by employing organic methods of farming have to follow the guidelines laid by NPOP (National Program for Organic Production) and its regulatory body APEDA (Agricultural and processed food products export development authority) for the certification. They will then be allowed to display an organically certified logo on the product that guarantees customers of buying the authentic product. It also enables farmers to earn a bonus on his returns.
Read the labels
It would be wise to read the labels carefully and look for any preservatives present in the product. If you have any doubts, counter check and clarify your concerns. It is also an untruth that organic food cannot be stored for a long time. Kept in a fridge, you can store it for a longer duration.
In India, organic food costs a lot more than polished foods. But considering the health benefits of the former, they are definitely worth the cost.
It is not the same
The regularly packed dals grown through non-organic methods have an identical look and feel to them. They resemble factory-made products. Each grain is uniform in look, feel and colour.
But organically grown dals vary in size, texture, etc. Various factors such as agriculture through eco-friendly means, usage of organic fertilisers and manure devoid of chemicals and pesticides make for a healthy bowl of dal. Besides, they are hand milled, a traditional form of removing the outer covering with little abrasion. Due to this the nutrients and original flavour too is retained.
While polished dal is flatter, organic dals tend to be smaller in size, rounder in shape and have a dull and rough texture. The agricultural process utilized is natural without the intervention of any chemicals or factory made fertilisers. It is no wonder then, these dals are fibrous and healthy.
All that glitters is not good
Have you noticed polished dals, pulses etc. have a certain shine to them? Attractive right, as that polish, lures us towards them!
Dals are polished to make them look bright, flatter and nice. However, this process also removes the natural fibre, i.e. husk, which is rich in nutrient. Organic dals, with the husk intact, are rough looking to build a tough you. What they lack the shine, they make up in nutrition.
Tasty and aromatic
Organic dals taste delicious. These are aromatic, naturally flavoursome and you don’t need to spice it up. You can enjoy this versatile lentil just by itself, soup style, or with a different veggie, chawal/roti. The irresistible earthy and unique flavour fills the air with happiness, giving your dishes a nourishing feeling. The same goes for other food, pulses, spices, etc. Organically made foods have a powerful aroma and you instinctively know that it is natural.
Trivial but important
Organic dals, pulses etc. is heart friendly because of their high soluble fibre. They are a boon to those dieting for weight loss as these wonders are also rich in proteins, necessary amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.