The benefits of dhal


I grew up in a typical West Indian home here in South America, and as a result had dhal more times than I can remember. This Indian dish is eaten by many worldwide, especially vegetarians. Did you know that dhal is a healthy food option? Some persons don't!

Dhal is delicious, healthy and it makes eating meatless so tolerable. Not to mention, it's cheap if you're on a budget and so easy to prepare especially on busy week nights.

What is dhal made of?

The way in which dhal is cooked varies in different parts of the world and almost all of them are made basically from yellow split peas and a few other ingredients, e.g. turmeric, garlic and ginger, etc.

Why dhal?
One might ask why is dhal good for me? The main fact that dhal is made from split peas makes it good for you. Split pea is a lentil that belongs to the legume family. This tiny lentil is a great source of protein and fiber. The protein that it contains will make you feel fuller longer, and the fiber that it contains will make you feel fuller faster. In addition, this food is also low in calories.
Consequently, it's a healthy option for meat eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans. The turmeric, garlic and ginger makes this dish even healthier.

On a diet?
This is an ideal food for weight loss.

How can I serve dhal?
Dhal can be served:

  • with rice or roti topped with some sort of vegetable or meat
  • by itself (my neighbor did this a lot)
Dhal served over rice with chicken curry is my favorite way to eat it and leftovers can be used in recipes.

Cooking tips:
Split peas can take quite some time to cook, so two cooking tips in cooking dhal faster are:

  • Cook it in a pressure cooker and it finishes in no time (this is the fastest way to cook it and personally my favorite).
  • If you don't have a pressure cooker, soak split peas overnight and boil the next day in a pot. Soaking it makes it a bit softer and thus earlier and faster to cook.