Urad Dal is also known as Black Gram. It is oval shaped and once the outer layer is peeled off to reveal a white seed inside, it is then split into half for further use. This dal is ubiquitous in every Punjabi home across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and that regional belt. Go south, you can enjoy a delicious black urad dal curry from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and as far as Maharashtra.
The best and mouthwatering benefit of this grain is when its used to put tadka to dishes. When fried, it turns golden brown and releases a hint of subtle flavour and a crunch. Originating in India, this warm weather crop is widely utilised in every standout dish due to its culinary values. Black gram is known to be most nutritious than the white urad dal, as it retains its outer coat which is healthy and aids digestion.
SETTING IT APART
It is known as Minumulu in Telugu, Ulundu Paruppu in Tamil, while the Hindi belt calls it Urad Chilka, Urad Sabut, Kali dal. Those in Oriya call it Biri Dali and Bengali’s call it Masakalai Dala and so on. Other than its health benefits, this legume is also known to please everyone’s taste palettes as it lends itself to various dishes.
Quick and easy to prepare, a variety of tadkas/vaghaar made from this gram is exceptionally delectable. For a tasty meal, enjoy it by pouring it over hot rice or gravy for the added benefit. Alternatively, the combination of roti and urad ki dal makes a wholesome dish too.
Being native to both tropical and sub-tropical countries, the seeds are sown mainly in the summer season. It is cultivated in various countries of Asia and is also harvested in Africa, which has rich soil and a perfect climate needed for the growth of black gram.
It is known to have been in farming since golden olden times, thus is considered one of the most highly prized pulses of India. The Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh ranks first for the production of this legume.
Urad dal can grow on a wide range of soils including sandy topsoil with the exception of the soluble and saline soils.
Optimal growth temperatures range from 24°C to more than 30°C with an annual rainfall of 600+mm. In areas where there is high rainfall, this grain can mature during the dry period on remaining moisture. It has poor resistance to wet tropical climates. The crop should get irrigated at an interval of 10-15 days depending upon the soil type and the weather.
NUTRITIVE VALUE OF URAD DAL
This lentil is loaded with health benefits, brimming with nutrients like calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium and magnesium which make this dal a wholesome package for everyone. Moreover, urad dal is one of the richest sources of fat, healthy carbs, proteins and vitamin B.
100 grams of cooked Urad Dal contains the following:
HEALTH BENEFITS OF URAD DAL
Black gram is one of the most nutritious beans and is commonly used in India for its medical benefits. It is helpful for especially Indian women as they are commonly found to be anemic. So, one cup of this dal will give them their dose of calcium, magnesium, folate, and iron.
- This gram can improve your digestion as the black coating on the outside is filled with fibers. It is recommended to those suffering from constipation.
- On the other hand, it can combat diarrhea as it helps boost energy replenishing the iron content.
- It increases milk secretion in mothers who are breastfeeding.
- It is rich in protein making a vegetarian diet wholesome. The dal helps in increasing bone mineral density making it stronger and healthier as you grow older.
- A very good source for diabetic patients as it regulates the blood glucose levels.
- It is both, enjoyed for cooking as well as for Ayurvedic medicine.
- The wonder aids in coronary ill health. Extremely good for the heart as the essential minerals enhance cardiovascular condition by improving blood circulation.
- Popularly known to be a natural aphrodisiac, it is recommended to treat sexual dysfunction.
Note: It is good for your skin and hair. You can try the below recipe:
Step 1: Soak a cup of black gram in water and leave it overnight.
Step 2: Next day grind it and apply on your scalp to treat baldness.
Step 3: You can also use it as a face mask to flaunt a smooth skin.
DISHES WITH URAD DAL
This nutritious dal can be used in endless ways, as it is extensively used while preparing Indian cuisine. From basic recipes like idli and dosa to elaborate and filling preparations like Maa ki Dal/Dal Makhni, spicy urad dal puris, and a wide array of mouth-watering dishes.
The aromatic off-beat Gujarati Style Urad Dal is one of the most popular dishes among them. Khatta Urad Dal is another delightful preparation and subzis like the Urad Dal with Paneer and Urad Dal with Spinach is another great way to incorporate this gram in your meal. Rajasthan is popular for various kachoris and puris made from this grain and is relished with a sweet pickle and hot tea.
Here are some must try delicious Big Basket recipes:
Something different: https://www.bigbasket.com/cookbook/recipes/1194/biuli-dal-er-bodaurad-dal-vada/
Idli and more of it:
South Indian variety:
Crispy and crunchy:
With something so healthy and delicious, it’s never too late to gain knowledge on it and utilise the dal for wholesome meals.