Origin: Masoor Dal or red lentils were first cultured in the Egyptian-Levantine-Persian region. Red lentils are related to the attack of Achaemenid, Hun and Islamic invasions in northwestern India. Indians avoided eating red lentils since it was considered as Barbarian's food in agamic vaishnavite cultures.
In Hindu mythology, Masoor Dal is also offered to goddess Kali. Masoor Dal is also associated with Kamadhenu (wish-granting cow). Legend has it, one day Arjuna (the main central character of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata) wanted to steal Kamadhenu (a divine bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows) from sage Jamadagni. To do so he attacked the cow with arrows. It is believed that wherever the cow's blood fell, the plant of masoor dal occurred. That's why some Hindus do not consume Red Lentils.
In Ayurveda, Masoor Dal is referred to as tamasic food as it promotes pessimism, criminal tendencies, passions, and temptations.
Scientifically: Red Lentils are a low-fat content food as a 100 gram of red lentils has only 115 calories along with a good amount of protein and fiber. It helps in stabilizing blood sugar level as it decreases the rate of digestion and stops the sudden rise of glucose level. For those of us working towards weight loss, masoor dal works well. The reason being it hampers unwanted hunger pangs.
It has a sufficient amount of dietary fiber that lessens the amount of cholesterol. This can prevent many cardiovascular issues such as blocked arteries, heart disease, stroke, and clots. It is believed that nutritionally dense masoor dal can fulfill an entire meals nutritional and dietary requirements. Low in fat, it has zero cholesterol level. Its gluten free and is recommended to those who suffer from gluten allergies.
It contains excellent levels of various B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine-42%, Thiamin-76%, pantothenic acid-43%, Riboflavin-16%, and niacin-16% of daily suggested values.
It has a low glycemic index that ensures that food is slowly absorbed in the small intestine by blood. Thus, resulting in a slow rate of digestion and guarding one against a sudden rise in blood sugar level. All this makes the perfect go-to food for diabetics. The vitamin A, C, and E in masoor dal ensure you are blessed with good vision and it guards you against eye disorders such as cataract and muscle degradation.
Red lentil is a bodybuilding food as it has a lot of protein and minerals in that increase your immunity and protects you from diseases.
Red lentils are really good for skin as it is rich in antioxidants that reduce the cell and tissue damage thus preventing aging of your skin. Red lentils have a large percentage of potassium, manganese, and calcium.
Cancer is a deadly disease, consuming red lentils can minimize the risk of cancer. Fiber and folate present in red lentils make it an anti-cancer lentil. It is rich in vitamins B6 and C, calcium, iron and potassium. It contains excellent exfoliating properties. It purifies the skin and thus helps against acne and blackheads.
When the powder of masoor dal is applied on face it magically exfoliates the skin, gets rid of tan, tightens the pore and brightens the skin.
You can mix it with coconut oil and use as a natural face wash. This natural and organic face wash should replace the chemical loaded skin products. When combined with milk it hydrates the skin, blessing you with moisturized and sparkling complexion. In order to use it as a natural hair remover, mix it with sandalwood powder, orange peel powder, milk, and olive oil. Regular use of this concoction will naturally remove facial hair.
Usage: In India, Red lentil is used in cooking. It is used in the making of Dal, curry, soup and other dishes. Women make various Masoor Dal mask for their face as it has anti-aging properties. It also acts as a tan removal pack and makes your skin spotless and glowing. Many beauticians use the powder of masoor dal is skin treatments such as exfoliation, tan removal, etc. Indian bride to often use masoor dal exfoliator.
Below are some DIY Masks:
- Make a paste of Red lentil along with turmeric, lime, and rose water. Keep it for 10-15 minutes and wash it off to get a radiating skin.
- Take a tablespoon of crushed masoor dal and mix with some raw milk. Apply this on the face and gently massage. Rinse after 15 minutes. This helps in removing dead skin.
- Take a tablespoon of powdered masoor dal and add some coconut oil and a pinch of turmeric powder to it. Mix well and apply on the face for 10 minutes. Rinse later while scrubbing it off. This helps in removing dead skin and moisturizes it at the same time.
- Mix a teaspoon of powdered masoor dal with a teaspoon of dry orange peel powder and sandalwood powder each. Add some water to it and apply on the face. Rinse after 15 minutes. This helps in getting rid of extra facial hair.