Mamta's Kitchen

Forum Thread - Questions about urad/urid dal

You may also reply to this thread.

Page: 1 2
Aspiring cook, on 30/8/2011 06:25pm

I have a couple of questions about urad dal:

First, does it have to be boiled for a minimum of ten minutes (like kidney beans do, because of toxins) or can urad dal be cooked in a slow cooker without boiling?

Second, I soak my urad dal overnight before cooking, and this time I noticed that they had sprouted, are they still edible when sprouted?

Thank you for your help!

Sid, on 30/8/2011 08:21pm

They do not need soaking to remove toxins. I think the toxin in kidney beans subject has been raised on here in the past. The reason why you soak kidney beans prior to cooking is to soften them. The toxin is not removed from soaking, it is removed during the boiling process - hence the fact you are supposed to boil them briskly for 10 minutes at the start. Personally I do mine in the pressure cooker. Nowadays I have found it more convenient to buy them in a tin LOL!

If the urid has started to sprout then it is still okay to use. Occasionally I grow my own bean sprouts using fenugreek seeds, mung beans and urid beans (there are many more you can use).

I was always of the understanding that dal is only applied to the split bean and not the whole bean. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.


Sid, on 30/8/2011 08:30pm

Ignore my first has been a busy day and I misread your question.

No it doesn't need to be boiled to remove any toxins. I and other people I know use it for growing bean sprouts.

Incoherent Sid.

Aspiring cook, on 30/8/2011 08:44pm

Thank you so much for your quick response and informative answer!

I also appreciate the correction on the use of the term "dal"-- I meant the whole beans not the split ones.

Thanks again!

Phil, on 31/8/2011 10:57am

Sid: I knew that you could make bean sprouts from moong beans, but I'd never heard of anyone making them from fenugreek seeds. Must give that a go.

We have British guests of Indian descent here right now, and they say that dal does indeed have the skin removed, as in chana dal, made from chickpeas.

Kidney beans: I agree that it's simpler just to buy them in tins.


phil, on 31/8/2011 11:18am

I just checked an urad dal recipe on this site: it says urad dal with skin, but the dal in the list of ingredients says 'skinless'.

Madhur Jaffrey says that some dals are used with or without the skin.


Mamta, on 6/9/2011 08:47am


The word 'sabut' is used to denote 'whole lentils'. So Whole Urad will be sabut Urad. Whole moong/mung beans will be sabut moong and so on.

Generally speaking, when one says a dal in India, they are talking about split lentils of some kind (there are many lentils).

Split lentils are then specified into two:

Split Lentil with skin=Dal chilka or dal with Chilka, chilka meaning skin.

Split and skinless or washed lentil=Dhuli dal

Urad dal generally will mean a split lentil to us Indians. They will call the whole Urad 'Sabut Urad'.

Hope you are not too confused! And I am only talking about north Indian, Hindi speaking states of India!!

Phil, on 10/9/2011 05:05pm

Thanks for that, Mamta.

We had Anglo-Indian guests here recently: they cooked Northern and Southern dishes for us: the first time we've ever had Indian people in our home. Fascinating! Interesting minced beef dish, and a Keralan spinach dish. Can't wait for the recipes!


Mamta, on 11/9/2011 07:09am

You are welcome Phil. South Indian dishes, Keralan dishes specifically, are very tasty, aren't they? It is a completely different flavour to north Indian ones.

Pallavi, on 31/10/2013 09:00pm


I've oversoaked my ural dal to make Dal Makhani. I think they've sprouted. Can I still use the sprouted dal to cook a Dal Makhani?

Hope to hear back soon,


Mamta, on 2/11/2013 10:55am

You can try, I have never made dal makhani from sprouted dal. You must have left it for a few days!

Sudershan, on 11/8/2014 02:10pm

i had soak the urad dal over night and in morning the dal become green. why ? and reason.

Mamta, on 12/8/2014 09:25am

I presume you are talking about Split, skinless or washed Urad, not whole urad?

It becomes a bit darker when soaked, but I can't honestly say why it turned green. The only think I can think of is if it had some chemical/preservatives added to it, which turned green on soaking. But this is just a guess.

Tina, on 16/9/2016 12:00pm

Even I had the same problem. I soaked whole Urad overnight and it turned dark greenish. Why should it happen? Is something wrong with the whole urad dal in the market

Pranav, on 14/12/2016 04:43am

If your whole black Urad dal turns green upon soaking overnight, "don't" eat that. Turning green means the dal was not Urad dal, instead green moong dal painted black. It's a very common practice in the market and is quite common these days. Even the one I bought from reliance fresh turned out to be green moong. And it's very dangerous to eat these painted dals and obviously it'll never taste the same as black Urad. I suggest you buy from some nearby shop whom you trust or from Bigbasket. They have always delivered quality products to me.

AspiringCook, on 15/5/2017 06:43pm

After reading the comments about painted urad I'm a bit uncertain. All the urad I've used changed color after soaking.

So I bought a new bag of urad, the "Deep" brand of whole polished urad, and after soaking, they look varied shades of dark bluish green. They don't look like mung beans, it's really a darker bluish shade, more like a teal color. Are they alright to use? I wish I could attach a picture but it doesn't seem to let me.

Mamta, on 15/5/2017 10:02pm

To be honest, i have never come across mung paited to look lik urad dal. But then i have not lived in India for the last 50 years!

What you are describing, sounds like urad dal to me. You can post your photos on or send them to me via contact link above this page.


AspiringCook, on 16/5/2017 12:36am

Thank you, Mamta!

Mamta, on 17/5/2017 05:26am

We have been exchanging email with pictures. One thing interesting I learnt; whole Urad dal/beans, or Kali dal as it is sometimes called, remained black after 5-6 hours of soaking. However, when I left it overnight, it did turn green, looking almost like whole Mung Dal! Something new I learnt! I am sorry, but I am unable to post photos showing the difference here.


sk, on 31/7/2017 02:37am

We are are South Indian family, we make idli/dosa and pesarettu atleast twice a week, so we know our urad/mung dal.

The skin of Urad dal, when soaked for a real long time (overnight), sometimes does turn dark/dirty green when seen against bright light. The skin of Mung dal when soaked overnight will be regular/light green.

Painted Mung Dal? I come from a farming family, and Mung is usually slightly more expensive than Urad dal when we sell them to wholesalers. It does not make sense to paint them. Also, any housewife or professional would make out the difference. To the trained eye, they are very different looking beans.

Page: 1 2

You may reply to this thread.

Content copyright ©2001-2024 Mamta Gupta and F² Limited. (All rights reserved. No copying without permission.)
Layout and design ©2001-2024 F² Limited. (All rights reserved. No copying without permission.)
Hosted on Mythic Beasts
All comments and queries to