Many legumes together or individually are used in the south Asian countries as pulses. They are specifically called Dal in India and Pakistan.
An edible seed is taken from its pod and dried, hulled and split to form dal. These are nutritious. There are various types of Dals which are available in any local grocery store.
Chickpea is also a type of Legume. It is used not only in India but is quite famous in the middle east too. Hummus is prepared using chickpea.
Chickpea at times is also considered a variety of Dal or at least is used as one. Therefore together there are several types of Dal and chickpeas available in the market. You should give them all a try.
Types of Dal and Chickpeas
1) Moong Dal or Green Gram
The green gram is an amazing source of manganese, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc and Vitamin B. It is used variedly for many purposes apart from just being cooked as a dal. It is used in the preparation of sweets, and another most common use is for sprouting. The green sprouts that you consume are made of moong dal or green gram.
2) Split Green Grams
The green grams when split from the center take less time to cook and are sold as split green grams.
3) Masoor or Red Lentils
This excellent source of protein is a common name in Indian kitchens. It controls sugar levels and even manages your cholesterol. It has an appealing pinkish-orange color inside with a brown peel on top and apart from proteins contains some amino acids and iron as well.
4) Split Masoor
The split masoor is more attractive due to its peach-colored appearance. Though, it takes less time to cook but has almost the same nutritional value and taste like the whole masoor.
5) Urad or Black Lentils
The most loved dal makhani is made of the black lentils or the whole urad dal. All love its earthy taste. It is known to control cholesterol and is a good protein source especially in a vegetarian diet.
6) Split and Skinned Black Lentils
When the urad dal is split, and at a time its black skin is also removed then it gets easier to cook as it then takes much less time to soften.
7) Toor or Pigeon Pea
This dal is also called Arhar dal and I the main ingredient of Sambhar which is a famous dal prepared especially in South India to be consumed with Idli, dosa, and Vada. It has a rich yellow color and is rich in Folic Acid, calcium and magnesium along with proteins off course.
8) Lobiya or Black Eyed Pea
The white Dal with a little black spot in the shape of a kidney is often called Lobiya. It manages your cholesterol and also helps with weight loss. The Lobia is famous not only as a dal but is also used in Vietnam for a dessert and also in Trinidad and Tobago with sticky rice.
9) Soya Dal
This is the youngest addition to the dal family. The soybeans are dried after complete maturity and then cooked like all other Dals. It is rich in Vitamin D and has high protein content.
The peas are taken from their pods and dried to form a type of dal. It can be consumed raw with some added herbs and spices or be cooked like other dals. Its high folate content makes it beneficial for pregnant ladies apart from its other nutritional benefits.
This dal is one of the best sources of Calcium and is not everyone’s cup of tea. Its low sodium content also makes it a healthy option for many. Though, this dal is high in carbs.
12) Lal Lobiya or Azuki
These are very similar to black-eyed peas but are red. They have a beautiful nutty flavor and just like all legumes are rich in proteins.
13) Kidney Beans or Rajma
Rajma Chawal or red kidney beans and rice are a favorite delicacy of North Indians. Though rajma need ample cooking time and also need to be soaked well in advance before cooking to soften them.
These white skinned beans come in two varieties and various other subtypes.
The different types of Chickpea are:
(i) Desi Chickpeas
The brown colored smaller ones are called the desi chickpeas or the brown chickpeas. It has a slightly dry taste with an earthy flavor to it.
(ii) Kabuli Chickpeas
The stout white ones are Kabuli Chickpeas. These have a nutty taste.
(iii) Chana Dal
The brown chickpea is skinned and further dried and finally split to get this dal.
(iv) Chickpea Flour
The chickpea is ground to make flour which is also called gram flour or besan. It is used in making many dishes like fritters and Indian salted pancakes.
(v) Green Chickpea
It is another common variant of chickpea. They have a sweet taste, but the flavor is much like simple peas.
Health Benefits of Dal
1) Fiber present in these lentils or Dals helps in digestion and bowel movement.
2) The folate and magnesium content of dals help in preventing heart ailments and maintaining a healthy heart.
3) Dals are known to control cholesterol and even lower it which prevents the risk of stroke.
4) Some lentils contain iron which facilitates the formation of hemoglobin and reduces the risk of anemia.
5) Certain Dals like the moong dal is known to help in protecting the intestinal walls and your gut health.
6) Dals also help in slowing down the aging of your skin by hydrating it and providing it with the required nutrients.
7) Consumption of lentils promotes healthy bones and also boosts immunity.
Dals including chickpea is a great source of vegetarian protein and help you control many health-related issues. Their consumption helps in digestion and also makes you feel fuller for long thus, helping in weight loss.
So, next time you plan your diet meal do not forget to include these super healthy legumes not just for the benefit of your internal health but also for your looks and beauty.