Which is healthy Unpolished or Polished Daal?


Before clearing this confusion it is important to know how the pulse is processed to make Daal. I am splitting this letter in two parts to make you easy to grasp.

How Pulse is processed to get Daal

Step 1. Cleaning & Grading – Cleaning & Grading of pulse is done in two stages – size-wise cleaning and gravity wise cleaning.

Step 2. Pitting – Outer hard surface ( Husk layer ) is buffed to facilitate the penetration of water/oil in grain.

Step 3. Wetting – Pulse is soaked in oil or water or mixture to dissolve the natural gum between husk and Daal.

Step 4. Tempering – After wetting tempering conditioning is done to have uniformity of treatment throughout the grain mass. This process gives time for better penetration of oil/water beneath the seed coat to dissolve gums.

Step 5. Drying – Grain is then dried in the sun or through driers.

Step 6. Dehusking and splitting – Grain is then dehusked by passing through abrasive rolls ( two or three passes as may be required ) and split by passing through stone crushers or hard-hitting through elevators.

Step 7 Polishing – Polishing is done to increase consumers’ appeal and is a form of value addition, though not desirable. Daal is polished in different ways, such as nylon polish, oil/water polish, leather, and maximal polish. Generally polishing is done using soapstone, oil, or water. Polishing gives a uniform look and shines to each grain.

Polishing is generally done on the Pulse that gets split before the splitting stage.

The Disadvantage of polished Daal-

  • Having lost its outer surface polished dal is inferior to unpolished dal in their taste.
  • For the same reason polished dal takes longer to cook, thus adding to fuel consumption in the long run.
  • The polishing agents used can be harmful to our health. The oil coating adds additional fat to the food, the water used comes from unreliable sources thus can contain any kind of impurities, and marble and soapstone powder are undoubtedly harmful to the intestines.
  • Through the polishing process dal loses a lot of nutrients and fibers, thus polished is not only less nutritious but also harmful.
  • In cases where dal isn’t sold for a long time, old stocks are usually sent back for re-polishing and then resold. Imagine what such food would do to your health.

Unpolished Daal is expensive as compared to polished dals and pulses. They have all the natural nutrients which are great for your health. This is the reason why unpolished dals and pulses should behave opted even if they are a bit expensive.


How to identify unpolished Daal

  • Unpolished have their fiber intact, hence they don’t look as shiny and attractive as the case with polished daal.
  • The edges ( Katori edge ) of unpolished daal are sharp as compared to polished daal because during polishing stage the sharp edges of daal become blunt.
  • When you dip the polished daal in water they generally will lose the stone powder/oil added during polishing and the water will become turbid.