Arhar Dal - Tur Dal - Pigeon Pea (Split)
Pigeon Pea (Arhar) commonly known as Red Gram or Tur is a very old crop of this country. After gram, arhar is the second most important pulse crop in this country. It is mailnly eaten in the form of split pulse as 'dal'. Seeds of arhar are also rich in iron, iodine, essential amino acids like lycine, threonine, crystine and ardinine, etc.
Pigeon Peas was originated in India and is widely cultivated in tropical and semi tropical regions. India is largest producer of pigeon peas and accounts for 80% of the global production. It is consumed on a large scale mainly in South Asia and is a major source of protein for the population of the Indian subcontinent. Red gram is a protein rich staple food. It contains about 22 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals. Red gram supplies a major share of protein requirement of vegetarian population of the country.
In India, split pigeon peas are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as a vegetable in dishes such as sambar.
Red gram is mainly consumed in the form of split pulse as Dal, which is an essential supplement of cereal based diet. The combination of dal-chawal (pulse-rice) or dal-roti (pulse-wheat bread) is an important ingredient in the average Indian diet. The biological value improves greatly, when wheat or rice is combined with Red gram because of the complementary relationship of the essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in lysine, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and iron.
The pigeon pea has many medicinal properties. It relieves inflammation of internal organs. However, excessive use of pigeon pea causes hyper acidity and wind in the intestines. Therefore, it is forbidden in gastric ulcer and heart disease. It cures Baldness, Jaundice, Inflammation and Piles.
It is an important ingredient of animal feed used in West Africa, where it is also grown. Leaves, pods, seeds and the residues of seed processing are used to feed all kinds of livestock.