Toor dal is the most popular and most widely consumed dal or lentil in India. Arhar dal is one of the major source of protein for the population of India. Each of the 4 distinct regions, be it North, South, East or West India, incorporates Toor dal in its diverse cuisines. The hot weather of India does not favor a meat-based diet for daily consumption. Toor dal, along with other protein-rich substitutes is the best protein-provider in majority of households in India. Toor dal is a beige lentil with a yellow interior having a very distinctive nutty flavor. It is mostly prepared as a dal (lentil soup) with ghee, cumin seeds, turmeric, chilli powder, asafoetida, garlic and ginger. This dal is then eaten with indian flat bread such as roti or chapatti and rice and accompanied with a side of vegetables. Also called toor daal
In South India, Toor dal is used to prepare sambhar. The sweet & tangy Gujarati-dal recipe and Amti, a Maharashtrian preparation are the lip smacking recipes of Toor dal from West India. Bengali Arhar dal tempered with the famous Bengali spice-mix Panchphoron, is East India's offering from Toor dal.
Toor dal is very quick and simple to cook as it requires only 20 minutes of soaking in water and 20 minutes of cooking in boiling water.
Pigeon pea or Toor dal is cultivated since 3,500 years in India. The oldest sign of toor dal have been found in the states of Karnataka and Kerala. It has then traveled to East Africa and West Africa. It has reached America with the slave trade in the 17th century. Nowadays, toor dal is cultivated in all tropical regions of the world. The world production is estimated at 4.49 million tons which 63% comes from India and 21% from Africa.
Depending on the region of India, toor dal can also be called tuvar dal, toovar dal, tur dal, arhar dal, yellow dal, tuver dal, tropical green pea, peeli dal, tadka dal, yellow pigeon peas.
Most kids in India have grown up eating a staple diet of Dal-Chawal. Owing to the popularity of Toor dal, the term Dal-Chawal in Indian households commonly refers to the combination of Toor dal with rice. This easy-to-prepare dal with a mild nutty flavor is a hit among Indian kids. While rice is called chawal in local parlance, dal is a broad term given to a range of lentils such as Toor (Tuvar) dal, Urad dal, Chana dal, Green moong, Moong dal or Masoor dal.
Health Benefits of Toor Dal :
- Nutrient rich Toor dal has healthy amounts of protein & carbohydrates and contributes towards a balanced diet.
- Toor dal is rich in complex fiber, hence helps avoid constipation.
- Being high on fiber, Toor dal is filling and slows digestion. Consuming Toor dal makes you feel fuller for long periods of time, thus making you eat less and helping you control your weight.
- Toor dal is cholesterol free.
- It helps lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Toor Dal Nutrition :
Arhar Dal contains high level of fibre, proteins including important amino acids beneficial for any healthy and complete vegetarian or vegan diet.
100 grams of toor dal contains :
- Calories : 343
- Fat : 5 g
- Carbohydrates : 50 g
- Fibre : 15 g
- Protein : 20 g
- Iron : 28 %
- Calcium : 13 %
- Magnesium : 45 %
- Vitamin B-6 : 15 %
How to cook Toor dal?
- Toor dal- 2 cups
- Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt- As per taste
- Ghee or Mustard Oil- 2 tablespoons
- Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds-1/2 teaspoon
- Hing- 1/3 teaspoon
- Garlic pods- 3 to 4, crushed
- Ginger- 1/2 tablespoon, finely grated
- Onion (fresh)- 1 medium sized, finely chopped or fried onions- 1/2 cup
- Tomatoes- 1 medium sized, finely chopped
- Green chillies fresh or Green chillies frozen- 1-2 finely chopped
- Coriander leaves- 1/4 cups, finely chopped
- Curry leaves- 8 to 10
- Wash Toor dal well. Soak it in water for 20 minutes.
- Add Toor dal into a pressure cooker. Add turmeric powder, salt and 3 cups of water.
- Pressure cook in a cooker on high heat till you get 6 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- If using an instant pot, cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
- For seasoning- Heat ghee/mustard oil in a pan. If using mustard oil instead of ghee, heat the oil until it starts smoking so that its pungent smell goes off. Add cumin seeds, hing, mustard seeds, crushed garlic pods, freshly chopped onions and chopped green chillies. You can even add Curry leaves for a distinct flavor. Once garlic and onion become brown, add grated ginger. Add finely cut tomatoes and cook on low heat till tender. If using fried onions, then add them at this step (after tomatoes are cooked).
- Add the pressure cooked dal into this mixture. Simmer on low heat until dal blends well with the mixture.
- Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice, naan or roti.
Are you in a rush with little time for cooking? We have the answer to your worries.
Try our MTR Dal Fry, ready-to-eat lentil curry. Just heat and serve. Our MTR Sambhar Mix is an instant sambhar mix made with the authentic traditional touch.
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