This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. .
Dals are superfoods that you should be eating a lot! Dals or lentils are valued for their phenomenal nutritional value and it’s a prudent move to integrate them into your daily meals. Chockfull of protein, packed with fibre, and providing loads of vital vitamins and minerals, dals are fortunately a huge part of the Indian diet! Dals are also an integral part of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. These healthy and versatile foods are now being loved across the globe as well! Different types of dal have their own taste, texture and nutrition profile.
The incredible benefits of dals
- 1 cup of lentils will provide, on an average, 17 grams protein, 40 grams carbs, and 15 grams fibre, and a mere 200 calories.
- Lentils are fabulous prebiotics – i.e. they provide fuel to the good bacteria in your gut and pep up the working of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This, in turn, enhances your GI health as well as gingers up your immune system
- Dals are also high in folate, manganese and iron. They also proffer good amounts of potassium, copper, phosphorus, thiamine, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin C.
- Lentils may have a beneficial effect on your heart as well. They help bring down cholesterol levels and keep the heart functioning well.
- Lentils also stabilize the blood sugar level and effectively manage diabetes mellitus.
5 Different types of dals that are hugely popular
All varieties of dals are super nutritious; some may dole out more protein than the others, whilst some may provide a large dose of potent antioxidants – however, all are giant nutritional powerhouses! Let’s dig into these 5 lentils.
- Moong dal: This small yellow lentil is the chief ingredient in all our khichdis, providing a balanced meal that you are bound to fall back upon from time to time, especially when you need a quick healthy meal. Moong dal is also a big star in – moong dal halwa, chilla, dal tadka, tikkis, payasam, kachori, panchmel dal and dhokla.
- Toor dal: Toor dal is not pretentious! Practically, all our dals are made from this lentil. You need few ingredients and hardly any hands-on time to prepare a toor dal-based dish and it gives you a giant hug of flavours and comfort. Toor dal is an enormous nutritional heavyweight – it can help boost your cardiac health and keeps diabetes mellitus at bay.
- Urad dal: Urad dal is black when whole and white when skinned and split. It is an indispensable ingredient in south Indian cuisines! A fantastic source of protein, urad dal works wonderfully well on the GI tract and helps keep the cholesterol level in check.
- Masoor dal: The orange lentil is a superb addition to vegetables and curries. It also makes for a nutritious, creamy addition to soups. Masoor dal is loaded with protein, essential amino acids, iron, potassium, and vitamin B1.
- Chana dal: When you split chickpeas, you get chana dal. This yellow lentil is used in scores of recipes – lauki aur chana dal sabzi, Amritsari dal, and panchkuti dal. It also makes for an excellent addition to tikkis, kebabs and fritters.
While dals have exceptional nutritional benefits, these benefits stay intact and reach your plate only if the lentils that you are consuming are unpolished and hygienically packaged. Try Tata Sampann dals that are unpolished and unadulterated; these dals offer consistent quality and nutrition throughout the year. As they do not undergo artificial polishing with water, oil or leather, they have lower moisture (8-10%) compared to loose dals available in the market (>10%). Always choose the right ingredients to ensure healthy and wholesome food for your family.
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