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Dal (Lentils): The Everyday Indian Food

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 Health, Indian Cuisine

India is one of the world’s leading lentil producing and consuming nations. It is a major staple for every household, to the same degree as milk or eggs. There is no other nation that has experimented with lentils as much as India has. Lentils are used to make appetizers, soups, main dishes and even desserts. Basically, there is so much can be done with them, and so little without.

Lentils are used in their whole, split or grounded form. The result, endless variations of dal (lentil) based dishes. For example, an Indian chef can cook a full three course meal by just using different types of lentils. To start, you can make Dal Vada (Lentil Fritters) or Dal Soup and serve it as an appetizer. Followed by a popular Indian dish called Khichdi or Dal Makhani as the main and to end it all an Indian Dessert called Besan Ladoo (Lentil Dumplings). The health benefits are unquestionable. It’s proven that the lentil’s internal chemical structure are not altered by cooking, they maintain all of their nutrients regardless of how they’re prepared. Another important fact, they’re are inexpensive, and readily available throughout India and the World.

Dal (lentils) also have a huge impact on Indian culture.  Often, they are soaked in water, or are sprouted and offered to God at many temples. Another interesting fact, Canada is the largest exporters of lentils in the World. So next time you feel like having some lentils, head down to your nearest grocery store or look for a restaurant that makes some delicious lentil dishes.