Hindi Name: अरहर दाल/ तुअर दाल
A yellow coloured lentil flat on one side, oblong in shape, used widely in Indian cooking. Pigeon pea is commonly known as arhar dal or split toor (tuvar) dal. It has its origins in the Eastern part of peninsular India. It is both a food crop and a cover crop. It is one of the most common dishes that is made in Indian households. It tastes best with a steaming bowl of rice. It has a mild, nutty flavor.
The skinless, split variety is used. Its greenish-brown in color with the skin and yellow without the skin. It should be soaked in water for about 10 minutes before cooking. Soaking in water reduces the cooking time. To cook, pressure cook it with the amount of water required according to the quantity of dal for about 2-3 whistles.
It takes longer to cook than other lentils. Before using it should be washed, cleaned and soaked in water for a couple of minutes. Preferably soak it in warm as it reduces the cooking time.
Pigeon pea can be used with vegetables, as dried pea or can be grounded into flour. When cooked along with cereals, pigeon pea makes a balanced diet. Split peas can be pureed and served. It can also be added to salad. The most common preparation is 'dal'. It is used to make popular dishes like the South Indian Sambar or the Gujarati Dal.
Arhar dal is very beneficial as it is an excellent source of proteins and amino acid. They are also rich in vitamin C. The high levels of carbohydrates present in it help in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level and boosting energy. It is high in dietary fiber and cholesterol free.
Did you know?
Arhar dal or pigeon peas was cultivated 3500 years ago and now around 4.3 million pounds of pigeon pea is produced every year worldwide and out of this 82% is produced in India.