David Mendosa Loves Chana Dal

Indian woman cooking chapati

Indian woman cooking chapati, a type of wheat-based bread

Chana’s not a woman’s name.

Chana dal is a particular legume popular in India. It seems to be a variety of chickpea. Dal is an Indian term for legumes: beans and peas. A serving of most legumes has a relatively high carbohydrate count, which could spike blood sugar too high if you have diabetes.

David Mendosa has type 2 diabetes. As far as I know, he’s still a vegetarian, but somehow manages to restrict dietary carbohydrates. He notes that regardless of carb grams, chana dal has very little effect on his blood sugar. Maybe that’s because of relatively high fiber content. Chana dal’s glycemic index is only eight, which is very low, especially for a legume.

You may be aware that a third or so of Indians in India are vegetarian of one stripe or another. Dals (legumes) are a very important source of protein for them. Dals are usually consumed with meals that include bread or rice.

Chana dal is a Hindi word. The British English equivalent is Bengal gram dal. In Bengali, it’s chholar dal. BTW, over 50 languages are spoken in India.

The nutritional analysis of chana dal is a matter of some debate. Here’s one that David found. In 100 g of dry chana dal:

  • 3.7 g fat
  • 25.4 g protein
  • 47.4 g carbohydrate3.2 g ash (inorganic material, such as minerals)
  • 11.2 g crude fiber
  • 327 calories

See David’s post for much more detail, including recipes and sources of chana dal. I think he’s been working on this post since 2001 and has revised it several times. He notes that in recipes calling for garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), chana dal can be substituted. (I assume garbanzo beans have a much higher glycemic index.)

If you’ve had chana dal or try it in the future, I’d love to hear your comments on it, especially how it affected your serum glucose levels.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If this post is closed for comments, you can reach me at steveparkermd (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

Comments Off on David Mendosa Loves Chana Dal

Filed under Recipes

Comments are closed.