Category Archives: Lentils

Urad dal

Botanical Name : Vigna mungo
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Genus: Vigna
Species: Vigna mungo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Common Names: Urad dal, Vigna mungo, Black gram, Black lentil, Ulunthu in Tamil, Minumulu in Telugu,”‘uddinab??e”‘ in Kannada, Urad Dal in Hindi, or white lentils.

Local Indian Names:
Gujarati: alad, adad
Hindi: urad dal, urad dal
Kannada: uddu, uddina bele
Marathi: udid
Malayalam: uzunu
Sinhala : undu
Tamil: uluntu
Tulu: urdu bele
Bengali: mashkalai  dal
Nepali: mas
Punjabi: mash
Other names include:

Oriya: biri dali
Telugu: minumulu
Vietnamese: dauu muong an

Habitat: Vigna mungo is native to India, where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India and Pakistan. The coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh is famous for black gram after paddy. The Guntur District ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. Black gram has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.

Description:
Vigna mungo or urad dal is an erect, suberect or trailing, densely hairy, annual herb. The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to six cm long. The plant grows 30–100 cm with large hairy leaves and 4–6 cm seed pods. While the urad bean was, along with the mung bean, originally placed in Phaseolus, it has since been transferred to Vigna.

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Edible Use:
Vigna mungo is popular in India, largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or, after splitting, made into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture. It is also extensively used in South Indian culinary preparations. Urad Dal is one of the key ingredient in making the Idli-Dosa batter, where one part of Urad Dal is mixed with Three or Four parts of Idli Rice to make the batter. Also the dough for Vada or Udid Vada is made from soaked batter and deep fried in cooking oil. The dough is also used in making Papad, notably the South Indian version known as Appalam and Papadum, in which white lentils are usually used.
It is very popular in the Punjabi cuisine, as an ingredient of dal makhani. In Bengal it is made as a preparation called Biulir Dal. In Rajasthan, It is used to prepare dal which is especially consumed with “Bati”.

Neutritional Value:  Urad dal  is very nutritious as it contains high levels of protein (25g/100g), potassium (983 mg/100g), calcium (138 mg/100g), iron (7.57 mg/100g), niacin (1.447 mg/100g), Thiamine (0.273 mg/100g), and riboflavin (0.254 mg/100g).[3] Black gram complements the essential amino acids provided in most cereals and plays an important role in the diets of the people of Nepal and India.[2] Black gram has been shown to be useful in mitigating elevated cholesterol levels.

Medicinal Uses:
It is nutritious and is recommended for diabetics, as are other pulses.

Ayurveda Medicinal properties of Black gram or urad dal:

According to texts of ayurveda this bean is heavy to digest and increases the moistness of body tissues. It is sweet to taste and hot in potency. All these properties help to normalize or calm vitiated vata. Consumption of this bean increases kapha and pitta.

Imbalanced vata dosha causes many diseases and also leads to men health problems like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low sperm count and motility etc. Hence Ayurveda acharyas recommend use of “masha” in many health conditions.

Anti inflammatory properties: According to principles of ayurveda vitiation of vata causes inflammation of tissues and initiates the sensation of pain.“Masha” or urad dal normalizes vata and hence has anti inflammatory properties. Usually a hot poultice of black gram is used in inflammation of joints and muscle pain. Massaging with herbal oil processed with this wonderful herb helps to reduce pain and inflammation
Nervous system disorders: This herb strengthens nervous system. Ayurveda acharyas recommend preparations of this herb in nervous debility, partial paralysis, facial paralysis and other disorders which involve nervous system.

Disorders of digestive system: “Vigna Mungo” or masha helps to increase bulk of stools. The moistness increasing property coupled with bulk increasing quality helps in easy movement of bowel. Therefore usage of this bean is recommended in conditions like constipation, piles and colic. This herb is a very good liver stimulant.

Action on male reproductive system: Texts of ayurveda eulogize the aphrodisiac properties of black gram. It increases sperm count and sperm motility.(Increases quality and quantity of semen). It is very effective in erectile dysfunction (impotence) and premature ejaculation

Action on female reproductive system: This herb is effective in dysmenorrhea and primary amenorrhea .It increases milk secretion in lactating mothers.

Apart from above mentioned medicinal properties, black gram also helps in increasing body bulk and body energy level. It strengthens the body and increases lifespan.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigna_mungo
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/ayurveda-medicinal-properties-of-black-gram-vigna-mungo-urad-dal

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Masoor Dal

 

Botanical Name : Lens Culinaris/Red Lentil
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Lens
Species: L. culinaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Lens esculenta. Moench.

Common Name : Masoor  Dal  Masur Dal

Habitat :
Red Lentil (Lens culinaris L.) was first grown in southwest Asia about 7,000 BCE in the area that is now southern Turkey and northern Syria. It is best adapted to the cooler temperate zones of the world, or the winter season in Mediterranean climates.

The two main lentil market classes are red and green. Red lentil is marketed as whole seed, but 90-95 per cent of red lentil is dehulled before it is eaten. Dehulled lentil is consumed in whole form (footballs) or in split form.
Description:
Lens culinaris is an annual plant growing to typically short, compared to cereal crops, ranging from 20 – 65 cm (8 – 26 inches) in height depending on variety and growing conditions.
The leaves are alternate, with six pairs of oblong-linear leaflets about 15 mm (0.5 inch) long and ending in a spine. Two to four pale blue flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves in June or early July. The pods are about 15–20 mm long, broadly oblong, and slightly inflated and contain two seeds the shape of a doubly convex lens and about 4–6 mm in diameter. There are many cultivated varieties of the plant, differing in size, hairiness, and colour of the leaves, flowers, and seeds. The seeds may be more or less compressed in shape, and the colour may vary from yellow or gray to dark brown; they are also sometimes mottled or speckled.

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Because most red lentil is dehulled before consumption, the suitability of new red lentil varieties for secondary processing such as dehulling and splitting is of utmost importance. Dehulling and splitting yields in some processing plants are higher for more thick seeds which may be more desired for specific markets.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sandy soil in a warm sunny sheltered position. Another report says that it does best on clay. It produces most seed when grown on poorer soils. Lentils are widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical zones for their edible and very nutritious seed, there are many named varieties. The plants are much hardier than is commonly supposed and many of these varieties can succeed in Britain, particularly in warm summers. There is at least one, called ‘WH2040’, that can withstand temperatures as low as -23°c in the seedling stage. ‘Chilean’ is a low-growing plant that can be grown in the winter in areas where winter vegetables can be grown. ‘HarLen’ tolerates temperatures down to -10°c and performs very well in gardens. The plants take the same time as peas to mature, so lentils are a potential commercial crop for Britain. Yields of up to 2 tonnes per hectare are possible. The main problem with growing them as a commercial crop is that they are produced by using cheap labour in many countries which makes it very difficult for British farmers to compete on prices. However, this does not preclude their being grown in the garden and allotment. Lentils are also beneficial to grow as part of a rotation on the farm or garden. They have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby and, if the roots are left in the ground when the seeds are harvested, this will provide a source of nitrogen for the next crop.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early April in situ. Some cultivars are probably suitable for sowing outdoors in the autumn, at least in the milder parts of the country

Edible Uses: Dehulled lentil is most commonly eaten as soup in the Mediterranean region or as dhal – a thick sauce in which spices are used as flavouring – in south Asia. It is an important source of dietary protein and carbohydrate.
Seed – cooked or sprouted and eaten raw. A very nutritious food, the seeds can be cooked on their own or added to soups, stews etc. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 5 days. They have a crunchy, fresh flavour. Lentils are more digestible than many legumes. The dried seed can also be ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread etc, this greatly enhances the value of the protein in the bread. The seed stores better if it is left in its husk. Young seedpods – used fresh or cooked like green beans.

Whole Red Lentils Nutritional Information Per 100 g dry
Amount……………………………… % Daily Value
Fat………………………….. 1.0 g………………..2 %
Carbohydrates…….59.1 g……………..20%
Total Fibre………… 14.2 g…………………..57%
Insoluble Fibre… 12.4 g
Soluble Fibre……… 1.81 g
Sucrose……………….. 1.79 g
Protein……………….28.