7 Types of Lentils Dal and Their Health Benefits

The most commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine is lentils or dals. No fulfilling meal is completed without a bowl full of Indian Lentil Dal. There is no household in India which doesn’t have a stock up of different lentils dal. Not only there are several lentils found in the Indian kitchen, but the variety and style of preparation are also quite unique for the same lentil across the country. Pick any lentil from the bunch, and you can find at least 5 different ways in which it can be prepared. And that too serious underestimation when it comes to preparations of lentil dals in the Indian cuisine.

Arhar Dal, for instance, can be used in the preparation of Amti Dal in Maharashtra, KhattiMeethi Dal in Gujarat and Sambhar in South India. All these lentil dal is prepared from the same ingredient, yet they vary largely in their taste, aroma, and flavors. And each one is better than the other. And with many Indians being vegetarian, lentil dal becomes the main source of protein and fiber requirement. Each of this lentil dal described below has great nutritional values and must be certainly included in every diet. Below are the most commonly consumed lentil dal in the Indian Cuisine, along with their several health benefits.

1.Moong Dal

The green gram or the moong lentil dal is one of the most flexible lentils which can be used in the preparation of lentil dal as well as in the preparation of sweets. In addition to this, green sprouts are one of the best sources of protein. This lentil dal is available in split, whole and with skin on and removed. The lentil dal is a great source of potassium, folate, manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper and Vitamin B. It is also high in dietary fiber

2.Toor or Arhar Dal

Toor lentil dal is one the most widely used ingredient in the Indian Cuisine. In many households across Indian, no meal is complete without a side bowl of Arhar Dal. This lentil is even used in the preparation of Khichadi, which is again another popular Indian dish in every household. Arhar dal is a rich source of magnesium, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, and Vitamin B. It is also known as Pigeon Pea in certain areas of the world.

3.Urad Dal

Urad dal has an earthy taste and is widely used in the preparation of many dishes across India. It comes in two forms. As a whole lentil dal, it is available in black color and as a split dal, it can be found in white color. The black dal is used in the preparation of Dal Makhani, which is a delight from Punjab and Northern part of the country. The urad dal is also used in the preparation of South Indian MeduVada, Dosa and Pappadam or Papads. This lentil dal helps your body in digestion and is a great source of protein and maintains the cholesterol levels of your body

4.Masoor Dal

Another common lentil dal or pulses which can be found widely in the Indian household is Masoor Dal. This lentil dal is used in the preparation of Bengali Bodi and can be even added to different vegetables and fish curry preparation. It is a great source of protein and contains essentials amino acids, potassium, fiber, iron, and Vitamin B1. It also helps in lowering sugar levels and in maintaining the cholesterol. It has an earthy flavor, which enriches the quality of your taste buds


Chickpea which is also known with some other common names like Kala Chana, Bengal Gram, and Chana Dal. Available in two different forms, you can find this lentil dal in smaller and larger versions. The smaller one comes with a dark skin and is known as Kala Chana. And the larger variant of the lentil dal is known as Kabuli Chana. This lentil dal has many health benefits and has anti-inflammatory qualities. It is a rich source of copper, fiber, protein, zinc, iron, and manganese. It is also quite high on folate

6. Lobia or Black Eyed Peas

This lentil dal is quite commonly used all around the world as much as it is used in any other Indian household. It is known as black-eyed peas mainly due to the reason because it has a small little black spot on it, which is otherwise white throughout. Just like any other lentil dal preparation, this dal cooked and eaten with great joy across the country. The lentil dal is high in fiber and protein and can be easily incorporated into your daily diet. It is also good for people who are looking to lose some of the unwanted fat. It reduces cholesterol and helps in maintaining reduced levels

7.Matar Dal

This lentil dal is one of the best ingredients that can be used in every other cooking or meal in the Indian household. It can be used in the preparation of lentil dal, curries, gravies and so much more. Most of the popular street food in India consists of Matar Dal as the basic ingredient. This is available in two different colors, namely yellow and green. This lentil dal is a high source of protein and fiber and is also rich in copper, folate, manganese, potassium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B5.

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