Authentic Indian Recipes that use Urad Dal
Urad Dal, a well-known staple, is a lentil that is used all over the India. Whether it is kaali dal in North or crispy dosas in South India, urad dal features in many authentic Indian dishes. It is present in the market in two forms – spilt urad dal and whole urad dal. Unhusked urad dal is black in colour, because of this it is also known as the black gram is all over the world.
Along with being extremely versatile, urad dal is also delicious and nutritious. One of the biggest perks of consuming urad dal is that it has high quantities of dietary fibre. If you are suffering from any digestive issues such as diarrhoea, constipation, cramps, or bloating, urad dal can certainly be a good addition to your diet. As a good source of fibre, it also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. Urad dal is great for reducing inflammation on your skin. It can also help get rid of marks and spots making the skin look radiant and glowing. It can help with healing and exfoliating your skin.
This healthy ingredient in a part of many quintessential Indian dishes. If you are looking to incorporate urad dal in your diet, try one of these famous dishes.
This delicious dal is a classic and ever present on restaurant menus. It uses a combination of Kali Urad dal and rajma (kidney beans) as the main ingredient. While making this at home can be a slightly tedious process, following the restaurant process of overnight cooking homemade dal makhani by itself could be a reward worthy of the effort. A host of spices and a generous amount of makkhan (butter) turn dal makhani into a melt-in-your-mouth delight. Use unpolished urad dal and rajma from Tata Sampann to get the authentic taste along with necessary nutrients and protein.
Dahi Bhalle / Dahi Vada / Thayir Vadai
Although these are three different variations, all of these dishes use urad dal vada (fritters) as a base along with chilled dahi. Dahi Bhalla and Dahi Vada are popular street snacks in Northern India, while the south Indian Thayir Vadai is similar yet distinctive. Urad dal, which is the main ingredient in these fritters, is responsible for the vada’s crispy yet soft texture. Depending on the version that you are making, spices, condiments and chutneys used to flavour dahi vadas will change.
Along with other popular south Indian dishes such as idli and dosa, medu vada also has urad dal as the main ingredient. The combination of sambar, chutney and hot medu vada can act as a complete meal at any time of the day. While the idea of a deep fried snack may not agree with some, it is important to note that the Urad Dal ensures that you could be chomping on the most nutritious deep fried snacks one could have. The advantage of using Tata Sampann Urad Dal, beyond the fact that it is unpolished, sourced from the best of farms, to ensure you get the best Ubari – which ensures the batter rises well, to ensure your Vadas as well as Idlis are soft and fluffy. Customize the spices and condiments used in the medu vada batter as per your preferences.
Originating in Bengal, radhaballabhi is a savory poori made using maida (all-purpose flour) with an urad dal filling. While it is especially made during the Durga Pooja festival, it is also famous street-food item. As Radhaballabhi is lightly spiced, it is served with bengali dum aloo or chholar dal. Although significantly softer in texture, these pooris are similar to kachoris.
While there are countless versions of dal fry present all over the country, authentic dhaba-style dal fry features urad dal as the main ingredient. It is responsible for the unique texture. Many a times, dal fry is made using a combination of dals but urad dal is a constant. Along with urad dal, another ingredient that will help you achieve the dhaba like taste at home is the Tata Sampann Dal Tadka masala which is the perfect blend of the best spices available in India.
Have a favourite Urad Dal recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.
This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s). Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s).