Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Questions about urad/urid dal

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On 30/08/2011 07:08pm, Aspiring cook wrote:

I have a couple of questions about urad dal:

First, does it have to be boiled for a minimum of ten minutes (like kidney beans do, because of toxins) or can urad dal be cooked in a slow cooker without boiling?

Second, I soak my urad dal overnight before cooking, and this time I noticed that they had sprouted, are they still edible when sprouted?

Thank you for your help!

On 30/08/2011 09:08pm, Sid wrote:

They do not need soaking to remove toxins. I think the toxin in kidney beans subject has been raised on here in the past. The reason why you soak kidney beans prior to cooking is to soften them. The toxin is not removed from soaking, it is removed during the boiling process - hence the fact you are supposed to boil them briskly for 10 minutes at the start. Personally I do mine in the pressure cooker. Nowadays I have found it more convenient to buy them in a tin LOL!

If the urid has started to sprout then it is still okay to use. Occasionally I grow my own bean sprouts using fenugreek seeds, mung beans and urid beans (there are many more you can use).

I was always of the understanding that dal is only applied to the split bean and not the whole bean. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.


On 30/08/2011 09:08pm, Sid wrote:

Ignore my first has been a busy day and I misread your question.

No it doesn't need to be boiled to remove any toxins. I and other people I know use it for growing bean sprouts.

Incoherent Sid.

On 30/08/2011 09:08pm, Aspiring cook wrote:

Thank you so much for your quick response and informative answer!

I also appreciate the correction on the use of the term "dal"-- I meant the whole beans not the split ones.

Thanks again!

On 31/08/2011 11:08am, Phil wrote:

Sid: I knew that you could make bean sprouts from moong beans, but I'd never heard of anyone making them from fenugreek seeds. Must give that a go.

We have British guests of Indian descent here right now, and they say that dal does indeed have the skin removed, as in chana dal, made from chickpeas.

Kidney beans: I agree that it's simpler just to buy them in tins.


On 31/08/2011 12:08pm, phil wrote:

I just checked an urad dal recipe on this site: it says urad dal with skin, but the dal in the list of ingredients says 'skinless'.

Madhur Jaffrey says that some dals are used with or without the skin.


On 06/09/2011 09:09am, Mamta wrote:


The word 'sabut' is used to denote 'whole lentils'. So Whole Urad will be sabut Urad. Whole moong/mung beans will be sabut moong and so on.

Generally speaking, when one says a dal in India, they are talking about split lentils of some kind (there are many lentils).

Split lentils are then specified into two:

Split Lentil with skin=Dal chilka or dal with Chilka, chilka meaning skin.

Split and skinless or washed lentil=Dhuli dal

Urad dal generally will mean a split lentil to us Indians. They will call the whole Urad 'Sabut Urad'.

Hope you are not too confused! And I am only talking about north Indian, Hindi speaking states of India!!

On 10/09/2011 06:09pm, Phil wrote:

Thanks for that, Mamta.

We had Anglo-Indian guests here recently: they cooked Northern and Southern dishes for us: the first time we've ever had Indian people in our home. Fascinating! Interesting minced beef dish, and a Keralan spinach dish. Can't wait for the recipes!


On 11/09/2011 08:09am, Mamta wrote:

You are welcome Phil. South Indian dishes, Keralan dishes specifically, are very tasty, aren't they? It is a completely different flavour to north Indian ones.

On 31/10/2013 09:10pm, Pallavi wrote:


I've oversoaked my ural dal to make Dal Makhani. I think they've sprouted. Can I still use the sprouted dal to cook a Dal Makhani?

Hope to hear back soon,


On 02/11/2013 10:11am, Mamta wrote:

You can try, I have never made dal makhani from sprouted dal. You must have left it for a few days!

On 11/08/2014 03:08pm, Sudershan wrote:

i had soak the urad dal over night and in morning the dal become green. why ? and reason.

On 12/08/2014 10:08am, Mamta wrote:

I presume you are talking about Split, skinless or washed Urad, not whole urad?

It becomes a bit darker when soaked, but I can't honestly say why it turned green. The only think I can think of is if it had some chemical/preservatives added to it, which turned green on soaking. But this is just a guess.

On 16/09/2016 01:09pm, Tina wrote:

Even I had the same problem. I soaked whole Urad overnight and it turned dark greenish. Why should it happen? Is something wrong with the whole urad dal in the market

On 14/12/2016 04:12am, Pranav wrote:

If your whole black Urad dal turns green upon soaking overnight, "don't" eat that. Turning green means the dal was not Urad dal, instead green moong dal painted black. It's a very common practice in the market and is quite common these days. Even the one I bought from reliance fresh turned out to be green moong. And it's very dangerous to eat these painted dals and obviously it'll never taste the same as black Urad. I suggest you buy from some nearby shop whom you trust or from Bigbasket. They have always delivered quality products to me.

On 15/05/2017 07:05pm, AspiringCook wrote:

After reading the comments about painted urad I'm a bit uncertain. All the urad I've used changed color after soaking.

So I bought a new bag of urad, the "Deep" brand of whole polished urad, and after soaking, they look varied shades of dark bluish green. They don't look like mung beans, it's really a darker bluish shade, more like a teal color. Are they alright to use? I wish I could attach a picture but it doesn't seem to let me.

On 15/05/2017 11:05pm, Mamta wrote:

To be honest, i have never come across mung paited to look lik urad dal. But then i have not lived in India for the last 50 years!

What you are describing, sounds like urad dal to me. You can post your photos on or send them to me via contact link above this page.


On 16/05/2017 01:05am, AspiringCook wrote:

Thank you, Mamta!

On 17/05/2017 06:05am, Mamta wrote:

We have been exchanging email with pictures. One thing interesting I learnt; whole Urad dal/beans, or Kali dal as it is sometimes called, remained black after 5-6 hours of soaking. However, when I left it overnight, it did turn green, looking almost like whole Mung Dal! Something new I learnt! I am sorry, but I am unable to post photos showing the difference here.


On 31/07/2017 03:07am, sk wrote:

We are are South Indian family, we make idli/dosa and pesarettu atleast twice a week, so we know our urad/mung dal.

The skin of Urad dal, when soaked for a real long time (overnight), sometimes does turn dark/dirty green when seen against bright light. The skin of Mung dal when soaked overnight will be regular/light green.

Painted Mung Dal? I come from a farming family, and Mung is usually slightly more expensive than Urad dal when we sell them to wholesalers. It does not make sense to paint them. Also, any housewife or professional would make out the difference. To the trained eye, they are very different looking beans.

On 31/07/2017 06:07am, Mamta wrote:

Thank you for your post sk, that is a really helpful answer.

Last time someone asked me this question on page, I actually soaked the whole urad overnight to check. It indeed turned green, which I had never noticed before, because I had never soaked it for that long before.

I hadn't compared the prices of urad and mung before, but what you say makes complete sense. If Mung is more expensive, why would anyone do that!

So this question is resolved for ever, mung beans are NOT painted to make them look like URAD!

Thank you.


On 18/12/2018 03:12pm, JD wrote:

Then question remains the same, what is it, why Black urad turns bluish green? I saw water was full of black color particles.

On 26/06/2019 02:06pm, (unknown) wrote:

I soaked whole grain urad dal overnight and colour changed to green exactly like mung dal. The water are completely black like the dal had some synthetic dye. I read it online that usually it happens with urad dal so I ignored that.

In my second batch, before soaking I observed that it is actually mung dal with black coating with some cracks. Still I was doubting my eyes and soaked it for 5 hours. This time it didn't leave any colour. I thought may be I was mistaken and went ahead with the next step of boiling. But as soon as I saw the water coming out of the cooker, I got scared by the color. It is completely black as that of a dye. I had to throw the whole batch as it was clear that there were synthetic colors used for selling mung dal as urad dal

On 28/06/2019 07:06am, Mamta wrote:

Urad dal turning green on soaking is a natural phenomenon, as far as I know.

Also, it doesn't make price wise to colour mung dal and sell it as Urad dal.


On 06/12/2019 12:12am, (unknown) wrote:

yes thats correct urad dal grown in some regions of the world will turn green on soaking its the characteristic of the breed grown

people have often been confused as its usually used to make dal makhani which is black in colour

On 07/01/2020 09:01am, L wrote:

Hi everyone, thanks for posting this thread and asking this question! I couldn't see this issue mentioned in any recipes so I thought something wasn't right as after soaking my black urid (whole) bean for a while, they turned the dirty green. They looked exactly like mung bean and tasted like it as well. I hope this is just a natural phenomenal as mentioned and not from artificial tampering/"painting them black".

On 07/01/2020 07:01pm, Mamta wrote:

Mung dal is more expensive than urad dal generally. So it wouldn?t make sense to dye it to look like urad dal.


On 04/06/2020 01:06pm, Sonia wrote:

Could you please advise me:) I am always having problems cooking urad daal as in it is always firmer than I would like. Takes a very long time to soften also, I always soak overnight and then pressure cook for at least 20 minutes or more followed by more cooking on the hob. I always add salt/turka once out of pressure cooker and not before as I have heard salt can harden daal in the cooking process..... please help!

On 05/06/2020 12:06pm, Mamta wrote:

Hello Sonia

I am at a loss to understand why your Urad dal is not softening after overnight soaking and 20 + minutes cooking under pressure.

I discussed this with my older sister this morning, she can?t understand it either. She suggests that you add a pinch of baking soda to the water you soak it in and cook. Throw away the water from first couple of washes, then add a pinch of baking soda And cook it in the same water.

I add salt at the time if cooking. I know dals cook faster without it, but it is an old habit, I just add it without thinking.

Hope this works for you. Let me know if it does.


On 09/09/2020 04:09am, Akash wrote:

In my case, When I soaked whole urad overnight, The dal change its colour into dark green, light green, and dark brown/light brown (Same as matki/ mot). While it was black in colour when I brought it. I hope it is good to eat.?

On 11/09/2020 11:09am, Mamta wrote:

Hello Akash

This is a natural phenomenon, Urad dal changes to lighter colours when soaked. I have experienced this myself every time.

It is not mung dal coloured to look like Urad, as far as I know, because that is more expensive..


On 14/11/2020 12:11pm, steven wrote:


I think that the question on dying moong lentils has to remain open, and here is why. I have soaked some Urad Lentils overnight and well into the afternoon, and half are green and half are still black and the black one are without much expansion. Can any one explain this because to it can only imply that there is a mixture of different lentils.

On 14/11/2020 05:11pm, Mamta wrote:

You probably have a mix of two different varieties of Urad dal. Once the skin is Washed off, Urad dal is whiter/lighter than mung dal. Washed mung dal looks very slightly yellower.

On 01/06/2021 10:06am, Je wrote:

Hi.. Thank you so much for bringing this topic, this was my first time leaving urad dal soak so long almost 20 hrs! and it mostly started turning green (not the mung dal green) and I was starting to worry if I should use it.. I washed them good and used it.. I had got parliament sanjeevani organics brand urad dal.. Just for anyone using this brand, this is real, it does happen!!!

On 01/06/2021 06:06pm, Mamta wrote:

Thank you for your definitive answered.

It really doesn't make sense to paint mung to look like Urad Dal , especially if Urad dal is cheaper.


On 02/11/2022 02:11pm, Pradeep Dhamija wrote:

It can't be painted because you can not paint it leave a line of white mark in the center of the daal. To paint it has to be dipped in paint which means it should be black all way but I see a white point in single bean of daal. To me when it turns green is a sign of different variety of daal. May be it is cheaper to produce. Ask a farming expert or seed seller to come in and enlighten us. I do not like it to turn green.

On 29/03/2023 08:03am, Pallavi Kaur wrote:

It's normal for urad dal to torn bluish green on soaking yet you can still make out the difference between urad and moong. Urad dal is too much starchy and the skin is thicker. Need not worry about adulteration.

On 14/04/2023 01:04pm, SINDHU N wrote:

What is the induction of yellow colour urid gola.

On 16/04/2023 07:04am, Mamta wrote:

Sorry Indu, I don?t understand your question.


On 02/08/2023 01:08pm, Jayashree wrote:

Hello. I was brought to this page to find answers for the same question everyone here as been discussing. Why chilka urad turns green after soaking overnight? I am somewhat reassured to read the responses here. Thanks. I have also tried using this chilka urad to grind idli dosa batter. This doesn't require it to be soaked overnight. So the urad didn't turn green nor the skin loosened off the dal. So I got grey coloured batter which fermented beautifully and yielded proper idlis and dosas. If it had indeed been moong dal, I wouldn't have got authentic tasting idlis and dosas. By the way I won't recommend idli dosa made with chilka urad, if taste and looks are important for you. It tastes heavier than the regular ones and doesn't look pretty as well compared to the white urad ones. But I am sure it is healthier.

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