Urad Dal


Grown in Southern Asia. Can be either split or whole. Used to make dal. Skin is black. When skin is removed, inside is white. When ground into flour or paste, is used in the preparation of thosai, idli or vadai.


Other names: Uddad Dal, Udad Dal
Translations: Úrad Dal, ウーラット豆, Leidinių Dal, أوراد دال, Dal úrad, Úrad Dal, Dal Urad, Dal úřad, Dal Urad, Urad דאל, Urad Даля, Uråd Dal, उड़द दाल, Urad Даля, 乌拉特德尔, Úrad Dal, Úrad Dal, Дал управа

Physical Description

It is an erect, sub-erect or trailing, densely hairy annual herb. The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to 6 cm long. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or after splitting into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture.

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: The product sold as "black lentil" is usually the whole urad bean or urad dal. The product sold as "white lentil" is the same lentil with the black skin removed.Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the black beans are covered and that the store has a good product turnover to ensure the beans' maximal freshness. Whether purchasing black beans in bulk or in packaged containers, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are whole and not cracked.

Procuring: Beans prefer warm weather and should not be grown in cooler climates. These crops should be grown in sites receiving full sun in well-drained, fertilized soil. Preparing the soil with compost and manure before planting is highly recommended. Beans should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed, usually about a week after the last frost in spring.

Preparation and Use

It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. It is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables in Southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout Northern India & Pakistan. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Sri Lankan cooking of dal resembles that of southern Indian dishes.

Cleaning: i78

Conserving and Storing

Store beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep up to 12 months. If you purchase black beans at different times, store them separately since they may feature varying stages of dryness and therefore will require different cooking times.


Black gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.

History: was introduced into Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers returning from their voyages to the New World and were subsequently spread to Africa and Asia by Spanish and Portuguese traders. As beans are a very inexpensive form of good protein, they have become popular in many cultures throughout the world. Black beans are an important staple in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Today, the largest commercial producers of dried common beans are India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and the United States.

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