Dals and legumes are the staple food in every Indian household, and no meal is complete without the addition of these protein-packed legumes. Dals, the protein powerhouse is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Each state in India has its staple dals cooked into various delicacies and some of the commonly used dals include toor, urad, masoor, moong and chana dals. One such dal which finds a prominent place in the Indian kitchen is toor dal. Also Read: 5 Dals That Must Be Part Of Your Daily Diet
Toor dal or pigeon pea is a perennial legume belonging to the Fabaceae family, which is also known as split pigeon pea, red gram, arhar dal or toor dal. Toor dal, a native crop of India is a chief accompaniment with roti or rice, it is vouched by nutritionists and health experts in unison as the complete food that should be added in the regular meal plan. It also a common food in Asia, Africa and America and cultivated since 3500 years ago. The seed pods look flat, sickle-shaped and grow to a length of 5-9cm, each pod comprising 2-9 seeds with a blend of colour ranging from white, cream, yellow, purple and black and this annually grown plant is drought-resistant.
Toor dal is the primary source of protein for vegetarians that comes with a dense nutrient profile and a bowl of dal chawal is the best comforting food for the mind and body.
Toor dal or arhar dal is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and fibre. This humble pulse facilitates to meet your daily demands of iron and calcium. Besides these, toor dal is an incredible source of folic acids which is essential for fetal growth and prevents the birth defects of the new-born. Being low on glycemic index toor dal is a good addition in diabetic’s meal plan. The richness of fibre and protein keeps you satiated, curbs hunger pangs, promote weight loss and reduces the cholesterol level. It also contains Vitamins C, E, K and B complex along with minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc.
Health Benefits Of Toor Dal
Promotes Iron Stores
The richness of iron and folate in toor dal, the essential nutrients play a vital role in correcting iron deficiency anaemia and pumps iron levels. Apart from this toor dal loaded with folic acid promotes fetal growth, brain development and averts neural tubal defects in the new-born. Toor dal on average offers 6-12% of the daily requirement of iron. Also Read: 5 Foods Super-Rich In Iron That Are Essential For Overall Health-Infographics
Regulates Blood Pressure
Toor dal a rich source of potassium, this mineral acts as a vasodilator reducing the blood constriction and stabilizes the blood pressure. Regular addition of toor dal in your meal is beneficial for patients suffering from hypertension as they are prone to increased risk of heart disease. The Dietary Approach To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lentils are highly recommended as they are an abundant source of potassium which is well-known to lower the blood pressure.
A high protein diet is known to promote weight loss by keeping you satiated for long hours and curb the unwanted cravings. Toor dal is a good source of dietary fibre, protein and being low in glycaemic index helps you to attain your weight loss goals by reducing the appetite, boost metabolism and restricts the intake of overall calories.
A notable amount of B complex vitamins present in toor dal like riboflavin and niacin are known to stimulate the carbohydrate metabolism, avert the storage of excess fat and uplifts the energy levels. The addition of toor dal in the regular diet regimen revamps the energy levels instantly.
Lentils are the must to add proteins in a diabetic’s meal plan as they are a good source of complex carbohydrates. Low on the glycaemic index (GI) and high in dietary fibre, toor dal makes it an excellent addition in daily diet. Food low in GI delays the gastric emptying time and averts the blood sugar spikes.
How To Cook Toor Dal
Toor dal is a good source of an essential nutrient but also have anti-nutritional factors. Studies have disclosed that lentils contain trypsin inhibitors and high on phytate, trypsin is an enzyme that helps in the digestion of protein and phytate reduces the bioavailability of minerals.
However, lentils upon soaking overnight in warm water can remarkably lessen the phytate level and enhance the bioavailability of nutrients.
Wash and soak Toor dal overnight in warm water.
Add soaked dal in the pressure cooker with enough water, add turmeric powder and salt. Pressure cook for 5-7 whistles until soft and done.
Give a tadka with ghee, jeera, and curry leaves.
Serve with hot rice or roti.