Very popular in Punjabi cuisine, these beans have a strong flavour with a slightly sweet aftertaste, a nutty aroma and a chewy texture.
Mung beans are a most versatile product. They are eaten whole, sprouted, split with the skins on and split with the skins removed.
Chickpeas are used in snacks, salads and dals. They are the basic ingredient in besan, a gluten-free flour used extensively in Indian cuisine. Some of our favourite recipes in this book feature chickpeas, or besan.
One of the more common legumes used in Indian cooking. The product sold as black lentil is usually the whole urad bean, whereas the skinned and split bean, which has a white interior, is called the white lentil.
Masoor dal is versatile. If you are unsure of what dal to use in any recipe, then this should be your default option.
Split pigeon peas, or toor dal, are beige with a yellow interior. They have distinctive nutty flavour.
Black-eyed peas are creamy white in colour and have a black mark on their inner curve. They have a subtle, nutty aroma and a rich creamy taste that is slightly earthy.
Yellow split peas are the dried, peeled and split seeds of the pea. They are sometimes referred to as split Bengal gram or sometimes channa dal.
Dal, when referred to as an ingredient, is often taken to mean lentils, but really refers to a split version of any number of lentils, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans and so on. This essay looks at these ingredients.