Polished Dal Versus Unpolished Dal, Which One Do You Buy?

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Don’t chose shine over health. Learn the benefits of using unpolished dal over polished dal.

Pulses (aka dal) are beyond doubt the most important ingredient of an Indian meal. In fact pulses are the most important source of proteins for the vegetarians. Moreover, whether you’d agree with me or not, I’ve always found them delicious. And, besides serving them as a curry, pulses can be used to make several other delicious cuisines e.g. Dahi Vada, Dal pakodas, Puran Poli, Khasta Kachori, imarti and many more.
Now, it’s time that I talk about the polished and unpolished dal. If you’ve been doing your kitchen shopping, you might have noticed that the stores might have several varieties of pulses, some with a shining smooth surface, while other with a rough dull luster. And, unfortunately, people tend to buy the shining dal without knowing that it is inferior to its crude version in terms of the health benefits it offers.

The process

Ever wondered how those pulses got their sheen? Well, before getting to the stores these pulses undergo a multi-step process of polishing that involves processing with water, oil, marble powder and leather. The process not only smoothen the surface, but also adds a shiny coating.

Polished dal versus Unpolished Dal

  1. Having lost its outer surface polished dal is inferior to unpolished dal in their taste.
  2. For the same reason polished dal takes longer to cook, thus adding to fuel consumption in a long run.
  3. The polishing agents used can be harmful to our health. The oil coating adds additional fat to the food, the water used comes from unreliable sources thus can contain any kind of impurities, and marble and soapstone powder are undoubtedly harmful to the intestines.
  4. Through the polishing process dal loses a lot of nutrients and fibres, thus polished is not only less nutritious but also harmful.
  5. In cases where dal isn’t sold for a long time, old stocks are usually sent back for re-polishing and then resold. Imagine what such a food would do to your health.

Presently unpolished dal might be costlier than polished dal only because their availability is rare and unaware people prefer polished dal. However if enough awareness is spread amongst people, the demand for unpolished dal would increase and that of polished dal would decrease. As a result availability of unpolished dal would increase, and hence lower cost.

I’m hoping next time you go out to buy some dal, you’d ask the shopkeeper for unpolished dal only.

Buy Unpolished Dal on Amazon

  • Raman

    Recently, tata released unpolished dal in india. I think its called i-shakti and sanjeev kapoor is the brand ambassador. Thanks for the post and such valuable information

    • Yes! You’re correct, Raman. They’ve recently started featuring that advertisement.

  • Balgit

    Why cant Govt of India ban such food- unpolished Dal, bleached sugar, bleached flour, which dont add any value to buyer or seller.