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Toor Dal is a yellow lentil also known as split pigeon peas. It is used in every Indian household in their daily food preparations.
With a significant part of the country being vegetarian, Indians compensate for the lack of protein with lentils. And with a wide variety of lentils being available, each one has a different nutritional composition.
The versatility of toor dal is seen in the number of toor dal recipes found all over India. Each state has its own way of using the hearty toor dal in a multitude of ways. Most commonly seen as a dal dish (lentil soup), it is usually eaten with flatbreads and/or rice. In south India, multiple varieties of dal, including the aforementioned toor dal are grounded together with spices to prepare savoury snacks.
Toor Dal has many health benefits, which are explained perfectly in the image below.
Toor Dal is packed with nutrition – protiens, carbohydrates, and fibre. The table below provides detailed information.
|Nutritional Parameters||Toor Dal|
|Total Fat||1.5 g|
Given its popularity and goodness, here are the top 7 toor dal recipes to enjoy.
There aren’t many dal preparations more prominent than the humble Dal Tadka. Dal Tadka is one of the most popular toor dal dishes in Indian cuisine. It is easy to prepare, and requires only a handful of ingredients that are easily available in the kitchen pantry.
The base of the dish is toor dal cooked with turmeric and water. The dal is usually cooked in a pressure cooker or in a pan till it has a mashable consistency. The thick texture of the cooked dal is imperative for creating a delicious serving of Dal Tadka.
The ‘tadka‘ in Dal Tadka stands for tempering. Different regions of the country include additional spices based on the geographical locations and availability of the ingredients. But no matter the region, a basic Dal Tadka is flavoured with spices that include ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, cumin seeds, salt, and chilly powder tempered in ghee.
An optional step includes smoking the finished dal preparation before serving.
Dal Fry is another popular dal recipe that is quite common in Indian households. Although dal fry can be prepared with different varieties of dal, it gets a distinct and punchy taste when made with toor dal.
Although Dal Tadka and Dal Fry use the same ingredients for preparation and tempering, there’s quite a bit of variation when assembling all the components.
Toor dal is cooked with a measure of water and a pinch of turmeric till it is completely mushy. In a pan, the condiments and spices are fried in ghee for extra flavour. The dal is then added to the hot pan, and all the elements are cooked together for 4-5 minutes till all the flavours are well combined.
Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. And all of the dishes are loved equally by Indians. Of the various delicious delicacies to come out of Gujarat, the basic dal remains one of the most popular.
Gujarati dal has a distinct sweet and sour taste that is native to Gujarati cuisine. The sweet taste comes from using jaggery while the sourness is from the use of the dried fruit, kokum.
Cooked and mashed toor dal is further flavoured with a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon, salt, jaggery, and kokum. The consistency of Gujarati dal is thin and more watery.
Rasam is one of the more popular dishes when it comes to South Indian cuisine. It is such a basic recipe that it is found in all households down south.
Unlike other toor dal dishes, rasam uses only a little bit of cooked toor dal. Also, a spice powder is prepared, which consists of dry-roasted peppercorns and cumin seeds.
Water infused with tamarind is cooked with tomatoes and the pre-cooked dal till the raw taste of the tamarind is eliminated. The spice powder and tomatoes give rasam its distinct hot and sour taste.
Sambhar is another stew prepared primarily in South India. The popularity of Sambhar is seen even in other parts of India, as it usually accompanies idlis and dosas.
Sambhar, unlike rasam, uses a larger quantity of cooked toor dal as a base. The dal is further tempered with tamarind water, sambhar powder, salt, an assortment of vegetables, and ground coconut.
The southern states of India have their own unique ways of preparing sambhar that differ in flavours prominent to each state.
The speciality of properly cooked toor dal is that it combines well with green leafy vegetables.
Cooked toor dal serves as a base for a hearty leafy green like spinach. Palak, which is well known for being rich in iron, amalgamates well with the protein-rich toor dal.
Toor dal and palak are pressure cooked together with turmeric. The palak dal can be prepared with garlic and onion as well as without. The inherent flavours of the greens and the lentils are such that there is no need for extra additions except for salt and chilly powder. Only a tempering of cumin seeds is enough to garnish the palak dal.
Similar to palak dal, methi, or fenugreek greens, taste very good when combined with cooked toor dal. Methi is well-known for its digestion-helping properties. The slight bitter profile of the fenugreek leaves is an excellent supplement for diabetic people in controlling their sugar levels.
Toor dal is cooked with methi leaves, salt, and turmeric till they are well-cooked and well-combined. A tempering of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and chillies in hot oil completes the dish.
With versatility built into its structure, the toor dal can be adapted to make any recipe from any part of India.
The combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, and fibre in toor dal are an excellent way to combine good food with weight loss and general health.
The fibrous content of toor dal is beneficial to avoid constipation, and the carbohydrates provide the body with the required energy.
Toor dal is also rich in folic acid, an essential part of any pregnant woman’s diet.
So there you go, folks. These were the 7 best toor dal recipies for you to enjoy.
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