Let’s delve deeper into the different types and cooking styles of DAL

Dal is one of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will ever have. This super-food is packed with protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. Come on by and give it a try!

The diversity is the real character of Indian culture and as the languages vary (there are about 22 officially recognized languages), so do the cooking styles. While lentils find their way into everybody’s lunch and dinner plates, the variety of lentils and the varieties of their preparation are vast. To give you a quick example, let me tell you about how I introduced Hugo, who is my partner at Calcutta Wrap & Roll, to Indian lentils.

I remember asking him to take a ride to Queens and to go to the back wall of “Patel Brothers” (one of the largest Indian grocery stores) and see for himself the colors and the different types of Dal they have in stock. Hugo called me back and said: “I am in front of this wall. Do you mean to say that all Indians know all of these Dals?”

Well, the truth is that probably not everybody who is from India knows all the Dals, but most of them know the popular ones: Masoor, Moong, Chana, Toor and Urad.
These Dals can be cooked very differently by altering the spices used in the tempering.
When Toor Dal is cooked with vegetables and tempered in the style of the South, it is called “Sambar”. This is a great accompaniment with Dosa (rice-crepes) or Medu Vada (crunchy lentil donuts). Urad Dal is used to make the Vadas in Dahi Vada and Medu Vada, and is added to rice in the preparation of Dosa. Dal is one of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will ever have, when cooked in its simplest form. This super-food is packed with protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. And Dals also contain higher amounts of most B Vitamins and Folate,

Dal can be called a Vegan’s delight because it is cooked in water only, without the addition of animal or dairy products. The only exceptions are Dal Makhani (a specialty of Punjab, where butter or cream is added) and Chholar Dal (a specialty of Bengal, where clarified butter or Ghee is used in the tempering). Needless to say, Dal Makhani and Chholar Dal are festive Dals, cooked on special occasions. You can now go out and tell your friends you know all about Indian Lentils!

When you come to Calcutta Wrap and Roll, make sure you try our FREE tasting sample during Dal week.

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