Lentils Whole Black Gram
The lentil or daal or dal (Lens culinaris), considered a type of pulse, is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches (38 cm) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. The plant likely originated in the Near East , and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic (non-pottery producing) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. With 26% protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp, and is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian populations. A variety of lentils exists with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. Red, white and yellow lentils are decorticated, i.e., they have their skins removed. There are large and small varieties of many lentils (e.g., Masoor Lentils). Lentils are sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split. Culturally, other pulses are sometimes called lentils but are actually beans or peas, e.g. "black lentils" (urad beans).