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Help with cooking urad dals (black lentils)

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When I get urad dals at an Indian restaurant, the cooked dals are beautiful little tender black balls, about the same size as the raw dals.

When I cook urad dals at home, I always end up with dals that are double the size, the black shell has fallen off and the dals are cracked in half or turned into complete mush and they are still not tender!

My current cooking methods have been some combination of soaking for 1-12 hours and then cooking in water at low or medium heat for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Can anyone suggest a cooking method that will preserve the size and black shell of the dals?

A photo showing my failed results is included.

Thank you!

 
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  1. Pressure cooker. it's likely what the restaurant is using too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowrin

      +1. A pressure cooker is the best way to cook whole urad.

    2. Thank you for the question and the answers - I've had the same question. As a fan of good restaurant Indian/Punjabi food, I've been looking more and more recently at the perfect, cooked yet beautiful beans and dals on my plate and thinking about how bad my home cooked ones look in comparison. Guess a pressure cooker is in my future too...

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillsofBeverly

        Mine works like a charm. and it's the bomb for making a good chicken stock in a third of the time!