Urad Dal: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 15/02/2024

Those looking to improve their health and fortify their diets with beneficial food must consider eating lentils. Lentils are packed with multiple nutrients and provide umpteen health benefits. Black gram is a member of the lentil family packed with various health benefits. It is popularly known as urad dal and ‘Masha’ in Ayurveda.

This bean is loaded with protein and definitely deserves a place on your plate! You can reap urad dal benefits by preparing fluffy idlis or nutritious dal (curry) and relishing them for an energetic day!

Well, that’s not all. In this article, we shall list down black gram uses, nutritional value, recipes, and side effects for you.

About Urad Dal

Black gram is popularly known as urad dal in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the most commonly used food items in South India. It has high nutritional content, including protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals.

These are whole-shaped beans with narrow and cylindrical shapes split into halves. When cooked, the dal turns mushy and thick. It is extensively used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes. Let us discuss the nutritional values locked inside this tiny lentil.

Nutritional Values in Urad Dal

Nutritional Content Amount Per 100 g
Carbohydrate 58.99
Energy 341 Kcal
Protein 25.21
Total Fat 1.64
Dietary Fibre 18.3
Niacin 1.447
Folates  216
Sodium 38
Potassium 983
Iron 7.57
Zinc 3.35
Phosphorus 379
Calcium 138
Magnesium 267

Due to its rich nutritional content, black urad dal benefits are immense.

Benefits of Urad Dal

Aids in digestion- Urad dal contains both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, which is known to enhance digestion. Fibre helps to bulk up the stool in the intestine and stimulate the stool passage.

Those suffering from constipation, diarrhoea, or bloating must include urad dal in the diet. Among the benefits of black urad dal is curing piles, colic disorders, etc. However, it is not recommended to give urad dal to babies as it can be difficult for them to digest.

Provides energy- Those looking to enhance their energy levels must include this dal in their diet. It contains high levels of iron, which helps to improve the overall energy in the body.

Iron is known to enhance red blood cell production, which carries oxygen to the body, improving energy. Due to iron content, urad dal can help prevent anaemia and its symptoms like tiredness and weakness.

Makes your bones stronger- Black urad dal benefits include enhancing bone density and making them stronger. Nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus in the dal play a very important role in improving bone density.

As age advances, the bones become weak. Thus, having urad dal as a part of your diet can protect the bones from becoming weaker and maintain their optimum health. Women in the menopausal stage must consume this dal to maintain bone density.

Good for a healthy heart- Urad dal is a great food for a healthy heart. Apart from reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), it also controls and prevents plaque formation in the arteries, which makes them hard. Since urad dal also contains potassium and magnesium, it improves blood circulation and protects overall heart health.

Beneficial for those with diabetes- Urad dal has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a low impact on blood sugar. Hence, it is beneficial for those with diabetes. Also, urad dal has a high content of insoluble fibre which is good for maintaining the blood sugar levels in the body.

Good for weight loss- The high fibre content in urad dal makes it beneficial for those who want to lose weight. Urad dal works by making one feel fuller quicker and for long hours, reducing the overall food intake. Those who have weight loss goals can consume foods made with urad dal in the morning to prevent midday hunger pangs.

Some other benefits of black urad dal are aids in weight gain, helps with male sexual dysfunction, heals swollen tissues, strengthens the nervous system, etc. Apart from benefiting the body, urad dal benefits for the skin are umpteen. Those who want healthy skin can turn to urad dal.

Urad Dal benefits for Skin

The rich iron content of urad dal enhances the oxygen supply to the skin, which helps to increase the glow. With plenty of antioxidant content, urad dal controls the actions of free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for reacting with the skin, causing various signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, etc.

Some of the benefits of urad dal for the skin include:

  • Skin exfoliation

  • Natural bleaching agent

  • Removes sun tan

  • Fights acne

Urad Dal Benefits for Hair

Urad dal, being rich in minerals and fatty acids, is extremely efficient at managing brittle hair and making it silky and smooth. Urad dal is also known to condition the hair and give it a shiny texture.

As per Ayurveda, urad dal also prevents hair loss and improves hair growth by balancing the vata dosha. It removes excess dryness from the hair as it contains oily and healing properties (Snigdha and Rogan).

Urad Dal or Black Gram Uses

Black gram or urad dal has profound value in the Indian food culture as well as in Ayurveda. This powerhouse is loaded with plenty of nutrients, which make it beneficial for various purposes and extend its use to a myriad of areas like food, face packs, hair masks, etc.

Black Gram for Culinary Purposes

Urad dal is used to prepare lip-smacking recipes in the southern and many other parts of the country. Be it dal makhani, dosas, or idli; urad dal is the champion of Indian cuisine. You can also prepare some tasty Medu Vada with this dal, which can keep you full for long hours.

The presence of vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium makes it very beneficial for health. You can also make urad Dal ki Pinnie, which is a sweet dish loaded with vitamins A, B, and D, carbs and minerals.

Urad Dal Recipe:

  • Soak 200 g of whole urad dal for 3-4 hours

  • Put the dal in a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles so the dal is soft

  • Take some ghee in a pan and heat it

  • Now add cumin seeds, red chillies, garlic and ginger (chopped), onion, chilly powder and salt.

  • Saute the above ingredients well, and when cooked, add the urad dal and heat for a few minutes.

    Some other ways to include this extremely beneficial food item in your diet are discussed below.

Black Gram as a Beauty Secret

As mentioned earlier, urad dal benefits for the skin are numerous. You can make DIY face packs with urad dal for acne and skin disorders.

How to use urad dal for skin?

  • Soak ½ cup urad dal for the entire night

  • Make a paste by grinding it the next morning

  • Add 2 tablespoons of rose water, 1 tablespoon of glycerin, 2 tablespoons of almond oil to the paste

  • Apply to dry face and leave it for 15-20 minutes

  • Wash the face with cold water

    Moreover, if you are tired of your dry, frizzy and dull hair, black gram can be your saviour. One of the lesser known urad dal uses is the benefit it offers to your unmanageable hair.

How to use urad dal with oil?

  • Boil and mash urad dal

  • Mix urad dal with coconut oil

  • Apply it to the scalp and hair and leave it for 1-2 hours

  • Wash the hair with shampoo

  • Alternatively, you can also reap urad dal benefits for hair by making a hair mask by following the below instructions.

  • Soak 2-3 tablespoons of urad dal and 1 tablespoon of fenugreek (methi)

  • Grind together urad dal, fenugreek, hibiscus flower and seed with water.

  • To this paste, add 1 egg, ½ lemon, amla and shikakai powder.

  • Mix it and apply it to the scalp.

  • Leave it for one hour and wash the hair.

Black Gram in Ayurveda Medicine

As per Ayurveda, bones and joints are the places of vata in the body. Joint pains occur when there is a vata imbalance in the body, which can be treated by applying urad dal to the affected areas. Urad dal helps by balancing the Vata. Use urad dal in the following way for joint pain:**

  • Boil urad dal and mash it.

  • Keep it in a cotton cloth and wrap it.

  • Apply sesame oil on the joint or pain areas.

  • Massage using the urad dal wrapped in cloth.

Ways to Include Urad dal in Your Daily Diet

  • Soak the whole urad dal until it sprouts. You can use these sprouts as snacks or in salads and much when hungry.

  • In many South Indian houses, urad dal is used to make idlis and dosas by soaking it with rice. They taste delicious with coconut chutney and sambhar.

  • Urad dal can also be used to make flour by grinding it and using it to make bread, flatbreads, etc.

  • Hulled split urad dal is used to make papadum.

  • In north India, dal makhani, a lentil puree, is prepared using urad dal.

  • In Sri Lanka, urad dal batter is used to make uttapam. It is served with fish or vegetables.

Side Effects of Urad Dal

Though urad dal provides plenty of benefits to the body, like maintaining a healthy heart, boosting energy levels, aiding in weight loss, providing several nutrients, etc., urad dal side effects do exist. All those who have high uric acid levels in the body must be mindful of consuming urad dal.

Too much urad dal can calcify the existing stones in the body. It can also lead to gallstones or gout. In some cases, people may also experience bloating and gas.


Urad dal is the powerhouse of nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, folate, and many other vitamins. Including it in your daily diet provides various benefits to the heart, digestive system, skin, bone, hair, etc.

You can use it to prepare various food dishes, curries, soups, vada, etc., and also make masks and oils to pamper your hair and skin. However, one must consume it in moderation as it can lead to negative health consequences.

Importance of Health Insurance Policy

Including healthy and nutrient-rich food in the diet is the primary step to a healthy and fit body. Consuming lentils, fruits, and vegetables provides your body with all the essential vitamins and minerals to function smoothly.

Similarly, having health insurance plans for yourself and your family goes a long way in securing your financial health during medical emergencies. You can rely on the best insurance plans offered by Tata AIG that provide maximum financial coverage in case of any health downturn. It is highly advisable to include critical illness insurance, which allows you to receive the best and timely treatment for diagnosed critical conditions without any financial hassle.

You can choose any hospital from all across the country and avail of the cashless facility from Tata AIG. The known benefits of health insurance are that it gives you financial protection and peace of mind during medical emergencies, along with tax exemptions under section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can black gram help to increase muscle mass?

Yes, black gram or urad dal contains 25.21 grams of protein for every 100 grams served. It is also rich in other nutrients to support muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

Can urad dal improve hair growth?

Urad dal has a lot of nourishing nutrients and protein required for healthy hair. Apart from consuming urad dal, you can also apply its hair mask to boost hair growth.

Is urad dal beneficial for inflammation?

Yes, urad dal has anti-inflammatory properties, which help in treating inflammation and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on Urad Dal: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More! It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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