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Kheshari Dal, Dal (also spelled daal; pronunciation: [d̪aːl]) is a term originating in the Indian subcontinent for dried, split pulses (that is, lentils, peas, and beans) that do not require soaking before cooking. India is the largest producer of pulses in the world. The term is also used for various soups prepared from these pulses. These pulses are among the most important staple foods in South Asian countries, and form an important part of the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent.
The most common way of preparing dal is in the form of a soup to which onions, tomatoes and various spices may be added. The outer hull may or may not be stripped off. Almost all types of dal come in three forms: (1) unhulled or sabut (meaning whole in Hindi), e.g., sabut urad dal or mung sabut; (2) split with hull left on the split halves is described as chilka (which means shell in Hindi), e.g. chilka urad dal, mung dal chilka; split and hulled or dhuli (meaning washed), e.g., urad dhuli or mung dhuli in Hindi/Urdu.
Dal is frequently eaten with flatbreads such as rotis or chapatis, or with rice. The latter combination is called dal bhat in Nepali, Bengali and Marathi. In addition, certain types of dal are fried and salted and eaten as a dry snack, and a variety of savory snacks are made by frying a paste made from soaked and ground dals in different combinations, to which other ingredients such as spices and nuts (commonly cashews) may be added.
Dal preparations are eaten with rice, chapati and naan on the Indian subcontinent. The manner in which it is cooked and presented varies by region. In South India, dal is primarily used to make the dish called sambar. It is also used to make pappu that is mixed with charu and rice.