Chana Dal (split Bengal gram) has become the latest addition in Oxford University’s English dictionary. As we know, Oxford dictionary is (in a way) considered as a bible of the English language, and it includes various words across many languages around the world time to time. Some of the popular Indian words – including some food items – which are part of the Oxford Dictionary’s word bank include: arma, guru avatar, jungle, chutney, bhelpuri, masala, and ghee, among others. These are, basically, the most used words in the day-to-day life of Indians. So is “Chana Dal,” a rich and affordable source of protein.
Chana or Bengal gram comes under chickpea category and its binomial name is Cicer arietinu. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated legumes. Almost in every part of India, the staple food habits consist of two main parts, which are food grains like rice or wheat along with lentils (pulses) or dal. The term ‘dal’ is used in the Indian subcontinent for various dry split pulses as well as the soup prepared out of these pulses. Among the popular pulses available in India, chana dal is an easily available and well-affordable pulse variety for people of low income group as well.
Chana dal is such an important ingredient in Indian cusine that to imagine about the cusine without chana dal is almost impossible. It is used in multiple ways for various purposes. People consume green chana, matured chana(kala chana in Hindi), water-soaked chana, roasted chana and many other cooking preparations of it. Besan, an important ingredient of many famous indian fritters, is nothing but powdered form of chana dal. Roasted chana flour (sattu) is used as a easily digestable drink during the summers and is used as a stuffed material in popular dishes such as paratha and litthi. Among the popular chana dal dishes are dhokla, chanadal–lauki, dal vada, dal pitha, dal moth, chana dal laddu and chutney. It is also used in less quantity in some popular south Indian dishes like lemon rice and upma.
Apart from being a good source of protein, chana dal contains ample portions of carbohydrate and dietary fibre. It also contains useful vitamin and minerals such as Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium. By eating 100 grams of chana dal, our body can get about 364 calories of energy.
So what are you waiting for? Prepare your favorite chana dal dish and celebrate the inclusion of its in the Oxford dictionary.