Beans, Lentils & PulsesDried legumes and their edible seeds, known as pulses, are classified into three groups - lentils, beans and peas. Legumes and Pulses are a natural source of protein, high in fibre and low in fat. They have a wide range of flavours and textures and form a large part of the Indian daily diet.
They are eaten either whole (with the skin still intact) or split in half (with or without their skins). The term "dal" refers to a bean or lentil which has had the outer husk removed and the remaining lentil is then split. This ensures a quicker cooking time and a softer, creamier texture when cooked.
Most dried pulses require soaking (times vary according to recipes so you should consult your cookery book) and should be washed and examined before use.