Black lentils

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Urad Dal or Black Gram or Black Lentils
Urad Dal or White Lentils

Black Lentils, Black Gram or Urad Dal are an Indian bean, different from true lentils. Urad Dal can, also, be dehulled and split, giving White Lentils.

Urad dal is generally boiled (whole or split) to make dal, a Punjabi favourite. White lentils are used extensively in South Indian cuisine, e.g. they are a key ingredient in making idli dosa batter, where urad dal is mixed 1:3 with idli rice to make the batter. White lentil dough is used in making papad, the South Indian version of poppadoms.

To prep:

Soak for 12 hours or overnight, rinse and drain thoroughly. Cover with fresh water, bring to the boi, then simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender.

For the white lentils, these can be boiled without soaking, but take 60 minutes or more to get tender.

References

Wikipedia (n.d.) Black lentil. Accessed 2 August 2015