Lentils also known as dhals in India

All lentils should be washed and soaked for at least 10 minutes before cooking. You can mix a combination of 3-4 lentils together to make an interesting lentil/dhal mix.
  1. Red lentils – takes the least time to cook
  2. Channa – (yellow) – has a nutty flavor
  3. Toor – (yellow) good to cook in combination with vegetables
  4. Whole moong dhal – (green) which can be sprouted, also good uncooked in salads
  5. Split moong dhal – yellow – and good cooked in combination with rice
  6. Black whole dhal – used in north Indian cooking and good in combination with red kidney beans (also a split version)
  7. Urad dhal – white – used for making breakfast dishes in the south i.e. pancakes, rice cakes etc and also for raitas, rices and vegetables dishes when fried in small quantities.
  8. Kitshidi dhal – green - split moong dhal


All beans/peas must be soaked for at least 5 hours (or overnight) otherwise they are not easily digested. It takes al least 1 ½ hour to 2 hours to cook the beans/peas but if you have a pressure cooker then it’s much faster – 5 minutes!
  1. Red kidney beans – used in north Indian dishes a lot
  2. Black eyed beans – used in both north and south Indian dishes
  3. Chick peas – used in north and south Indian dishes and sometimes eaten as a snack on its own with spices
There are many other lentils and beans that are used in India but these are the most commonly used ones and what is available in Europe