Healthy You Know Your Dal

Pigeon pea/ Toor dal – The nutritious staple grain of India

Toor dal, also known as Arhar dal is a ‘must-have’ staple in Indian homes. A go-to dal, this humble pulse translates into comfort food on the plate. Bringing cheers on a cold day or satisfaction during hot summers, this delight hides its versatility behind a simple demure demeanor.

Toor dal supplies us with the fundamental nutrients and minerals which our body needs. Known as Pigeon Pea, this pulse besides India, is enjoyed in Africa, Mexico and the surrounding parts of Central America and South Asia. Because of its numerous health benefits, this lentil is most popular when compared to other types of pulses.


When whole, it is small, roundish, and tan in colour and when split and polished, it has a yellowish beige shade which is the most popular variety. The other names for Toor dal are Yellow Lentil, Tuvar dal, Tovarum Paruppu and so on. This dal is hailed as an excellent supplement for protein in a vegetarian diet.


Mainly grown in tropical regions, it has an ideal pH of about 7. The dal should be cultivated in fertile soil to absorb all the nutrients. Yet for a better yield, the soil must be low in salinity and have a good drainage system and warm humid climes. Though this pulse can withstand dry spell, for a good yield dry climates and semi-arid soil should be avoided. The ideal temperature for growth of the plants is 20-29 degree Celsius. This crop’s cultivation requires an annual rainfall of more than 650mm.


This being one of the Indian favourite foods, has high levels of protein. A perfect choice to make Khichdi! In Ayurveda, the dal is known as a detoxifying lentil high in Omega-3. It has to be cooked well to be digested easily. Therefore, it plays a vital role in a well-balanced diet.

About 100 grams of cooked Toor Dal contains the following:



Total Fat










Vitamin B6




This grain is a complete package and is an excellent source of plant nutrients. It is high in dietary fibre relieving one from constipation. A diet that contains this healthy nutrient can decrease the risk of chronic diseases.

Packed with numerous benefits, this dal serves as the desired lentil in a vegetarian subgroup of a wholesome diet plan. Rich in folic acid, it is a must-have for all pregnant women. Toor or Arhar dal is also a superior source of carbohydrates that fuels the body with required energy.

Other benefits:

  • It is believed to help prevent anemia.
  • Increases immunity.
  • Aids in losing weight.
  • Maintain your blood pressure and helps maintain a healthy heart.
  • Makes for a good dietary supplement.


Among several pulses, Toor dal is popular and is commonly consumed by most people. For a good reason, it makes a perfect accompaniment with rice. This lentil is so tasty and comforting that it is ideal for a weeknight or when you are rushed and have less time to prepare dinner.

A bowl of this grain (tadkewali/Sambhar/Varan/ Gujarati khatti meethi dal) poured in the center of hot steaming rice with a teaspoon of ghee is nothing short of heaven. There are many dishes which are prepared using this dal. Traditionally prepared with rich spices, it is easy to cook and delicious to eat.

Big Basket gladly shares some standout and the most delightful dishes you can make with toor dal:

Have some tangy rasam on a cold wintry day:

Guests for a meal, try dal bahar:

Go East, A Bengali delight, Tok dal:

Here it is west facing, try puran poli:

Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try these amazing recipes to get the complete health benefits of this dal.

1 comment on “Pigeon pea/ Toor dal – The nutritious staple grain of India

  1. Amit kumar rastogi


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