Dal is made with lentils, mixed with a variety of vegetables. Lentils absorb flavors from other foods and seasonings, making it easy and tasty dish. Lentils are available throughout the year and are inexpensive. They make a great meat substitute or side dish. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of fiber, lean protein, folate and iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.
There are dozens of varieties of lentils being cultivated. While the most common types in the United States are either green or brown, lentils are also available in black, yellow, red and orange colors. They are sold whole or split into halves. There are several ways to use lentils. Cook till mushy and make soup, cook just right to retain shape for a thick curry with rice on side. Lentils generally have somewhat nutty flavor.