Chana Dal or Split Brown Chickpeas has been this nation’s staple favourite for quite a while now. It is said to be one of the oldest lentils known and cultivated from the times of the yore, both in Europe and in Asia. One of its possible places of origin is in Afghanistan and that belt of land. This dal is highly nutritious and delightful to eat. It is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes.
SETTING IT APART
Chana dal, split yellow gram, is known for its tasty nutty flavour and thick creamy texture. This dal has been a part of Indian cuisines for quite a long time. Besides the rich taste, this lentil is a much-needed source for all fitness lovers.
It is grown on a wide range of soils in India. Even though this dal can be cultivated on multiple muds, clay to sandy loam is considered the best for this legume. When harvested the split chickpeas is round in shape. The outer skin is rich in protein and therefore highly nutritious. When roasted, it can be consumed as munchies.
After reaping the chickpeas are dried and the outer skin is removed. It is then split into half either manually or by machine. The ideal climate required is 20 to 29-degree Celsius and the ideal pH required varies from 5 to 7.
NUTRITIVE VALUE OF CHANA DAL
High in protein and low in fat, this legume is organically rich in dietary fibre. Known to be extremely healthy, this dal thus finds itself on many kitchen shelves.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHANA DAL
It is stacked with a number of vitamins and minerals. This superfood is ideal for fitness enthusiasts who are vegetarians. The multivitamins in this nutritious legume help in glucose metabolism, which extracts all the energy from the dal and converts it into the form that our body can utilise. Being a rich antioxidant, chana dal helps in diminishing any kind of damage caused to the blood vessels and also in reducing inflammation.
It is good for the diabetics, maintains blood pressure, and is, therefore, heart friendly. Folic acid in the dal reduces the risk of blood clots and hardening of the arteries. This acid is also an excellent legume for pregnant women. The fibre in it makes you feel full for a longer time, helping in maintaining your ideal weight. Being fat and cholesterol free, it is considered a winner among the legume family. Besides being great for skin and bones, it is good for the eyes too!
DISHES WITH CHANA DAL
Remember the very famous Sindhi breakfast called Dal Pakwan? We are talking about chana dal, the main ingredient which makes this food from Sindh province so supremely delicious. India is a land of mouthwatering delicacies filled with loving nourishments and flavours. Well, this dal is the most important legume when preparing many dishes!
Given that it is a storehouse of healthy goodness, here are some delicacies to make this lentil more interesting:
- Easily digested, this dal is used in Indian kitchens to make regular curries and subzis.
- If in Marathi cuisine, it is Palak Chana Dal and Puran Poli, Gujaratis will insist on Doodhi Chana Dal Subzi, while the Assamese will tell us the virtues of making Booter Dal.
- While South India’s sambhar is an absolute treat, the batata wada is the most famous snack on the western side of India.
- The flour made of chickpea (besan) is gluten-free and used to prepare pakodas, chilla and besan ke ladoos. The flour is sometimes used to thicken soups and curries.
- Besan flour is also known for its amazing beauty benefits as well.