Top 15 Most Popular Types of Indian Dals Used in Cooking

Dal is the very popular term used in India for all different types of lentils, pulses, beans and legumes. There are so many Indian pulses used in cooking and available in three types, whole pulse, split pulses with skin and split pulses without skin.

उड़द दाल (Vigna Mungo)

Urad bean or black gram grown in the Indian subcontinent along with green gram and the split beans without skins are known as white lentil. Black gram or Urad dal is extensively used in Northern India to make dal (dal makhani) and an ingredients of idli and dosa batter in South India.

मूंग दाल (Mung Bean)

Mung dal is green color beans, light yellow in colour when skins are removed and more commonly used with skins to make healthy bean sprouts in India as well as South Asia. In the Indian States whole moong beans are used to make a variety of dishes like Moong Dal ka Halua,Moong Dal Ke Pakode and Moong Dal ke Mangode.

मसूर दाल (Red Lentil)

Red Lentil is a delicious dal of India, very popular ingredient of traditional Maharashtrian recipe called Akkha masoor and famous dal makhani with masoor dal. Masoor daal is also part of the India’s own traditional Panchmel dal or Panchratan dal.

चना दाल (Bengal Gram)

Bengal gram split is known as Chana daal in Hindi, However Chickpea is the common term used for different types of Chickpea seeds including dried desi green Chickpea, black Chickpea and Kabuli Chana or Chola. The yellow split lentil is part of the very popular Indian cuisine, majorly cultivated in India and are high in protein.

अरहर- तूअर दाल (Yellow Pigeon Pea)

Yellow Pigeon pea is known as Toor Daal or Arhar Dal in Hindi, A major source of protein in Indian subcontinent and consumed by people throughout the length and breadth of India. Toor Daal or Arhar Dal is split pigeon peas and an important legume crop in the Indian subcontinent as well as other parts of the South Asia.

चवली/Lobia (Black Eyed Pea)

The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean also known as goat pea is a medium sized edible bean from cowpea species, One of the four subspecies of cowpeas. In Indian states of Maharashtra, It is known as chawli and on in North India called as lobia or rongi, commonly used in curry dishes.

मटकी दाल (Moth Bean)

Moth beans or mat bean commonly used as sprouts and consumed in Maharashtra and one of the most drought resistant pulses in India. Whole moth bean seeds are sprouted before cooking and also cooked as common fried dal for breakfast or meals.

कुलथी दाल (Horse Gram)

Madras gram or horse gram is one of the lesser known dal in India, commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic cuisine and host list of medicinal qualities. Kulthi dal is also known as gahat or muthira and also considered a medicinal food in Darjeeling, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh where it is a major ingredient of khichdi.

काबुली चने (छोले)/(Chickpeas)

Chickpea term is used for Kabuli Chana, A key ingredient of very popular Punjabi dish called Chole bhature and Chana masala. Gram flour or besan is used for making popular sweet dish Mysorepak and also a ingredient in the list of cuisine of the Indian subcontinent such as Kadhi, Pakoras, Pithla and Vada.

लाल लोबिया/Chori (Adzuki Beans)

The red mung bean or adzuki bean is most familiar in Northeast Asia and in some parts of India they are known as red chori, red cowpeas or lal chavali. The adzuki bean is one of the most important legume after the soy bean, mainly cultivated in China, Japan, South Korea and India.

मटर (Dried Green Peas)

Green peas are edible seeds like pigeon pea and cowpea, used in various dishes of India such as aloo matar, matar paneer, also eaten raw or dried and fried. Split green peas are also used to make dal and available in two different variation of hara matar, safed matar just like hara chana and kala chana.


The soybean or soya bean is another popular species of legume native Asia, grown for its edible beans, soybean oil and Soya chunks. India is the one of the top five producer of Soybean in the world, while Madhya Pradesh is the largest soybean producing states in India.

राजमा (Kidney Beans)

Rajma or red kidney beans are part of regular Northern Indian dishes served with boiled rice and a top favorite food of North Indians. Kidney beans is called Rajma in India, White kidney bean is called lobia and red beans is known as adzuki beans.


The fruit of the hyacinth bean or lablab is a legume pod available in India, variable in size and shape. Hyacinth beans green pods are cooked as vegetable and also for a variety of dishes and curries in Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Kerala.


Ricebean are small edible beans grown with maize, sorghum or cowpea, Millets and mainly as a dried pulse in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. However as of now Ricebean is a neglected crop and only cultivated on small areas of northeastern India,used as food for humans and also used in traditional medicine.

Broad beans, Lima beans, ricebean and tepary beans are few more legume and are an ingredient of many snacks items called bhujia in India. India is the the largest producer of pulses in the world and there are 500 plus known species of legumes are in there.

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