Red lentils, yellow mung dal, mung dal, split mung beans, chana dal, brown lentils, green lentils, puy lentils etc etc. The extensive variety of legumes available can be quite confusing, even for the most experienced vegetarian. We realise you may have some questions around which lentils you should be eating, which to use in various recipes, and how to prepare them. We hope to clear up any confusion you may have about legumes.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, legumes are essential for a healthy lifestyle and diet. Rich in protein, complex carbs, and nutrients, they are a staple in an Ayurvedic diet.

  • Which are easiest to digest?
    Always choose organic legumes.
    • Mung dal is excellent for all three doshas. Split and yellow mung dal are easier to digest than whole green mung beans.
    • Red lentils: Easy to digest and take less time to prepare than other dhal. Great for those with a Vata constitution or people experiencing weak digestion.
    • Brown lentils: due to their larger size, they are more difficult to digest. Best for Pitta and Kapha. Due to their dry and quality, they may aggravate Vata. Cooking with oil and digestive herbs will help their digestibility.
    • Green lentils (also known as Puy lentils) and chana dal (made of chickpeas) have similar digestive qualities to brown lentils.
    • Kidney beans: Due to their heavy quality, kidney beans may aggravate the kapha and Vata doshas if not cooked fully.
  • Do all legumes need to soak prior?
    • Whole green mung beans should only be used after they have soaked overnight.
    • Yellow mung dal and red lentils require the least amount of soaking. If you can soak them for an hour before cooking that is excellent.
    • Toor dal, chana dal, brown lentils, green lentils should all be soaked overnight, or at least 6 hours.
    Remember, all legumes need to be washed before cooking!

Cooking suggestions:
• Don’t add salt until after the dhal is completely cooked. By adding salt at the beginning of the cooking process it will make the outside hard, increasing the cooking time.
• Make sure the legumes are completely cooked. If they are not cooked fully they may stress the digestive system.
• Add spices to assist with the digestion. Organic Asafoetida (hing powder) is great for minimising gas formulation and bloating.

If you have any other questions about legumes you are welcome to call us at 0406810547 or you can email us at info@lakshmiayurveda.com.au. You are welcome to visit our online shop to browse our lentil selection. We hope to speak to you soon!

References:

http://www.mapi.com/…/ayurvedic-protein-sources-beans-lenti…

https://www.joyfulbelly.com/…/Do-you-Dahl-Discover-the…/4656

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