In the Indian section of the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, they’re called urid dals, though online most sources call them urad dals. I have been fascinated by them since sources say they have an earthy flavor, and one thing I’m trying to do with my various incarnations of lentil soup is have a tasty product that isn’t mush. But the one thing I didn’t get before cooking this batch was a good cooking time, and I cooked them about 30-45 minutes. The product is a little chewy this time, as opposed to mushy. The soup is still not perfect.
There are some good looking recipes for urad dals out there, such as this really tasty looking dal mahkani. There are interesting lentil recipes as well, such as this one from the blogger Food and Spice for a spicy green lentil and split pea dish. But I wasn’t really finding recipes that told me how long to cook urad dals. Then I switched search tactics and found this Carnegie Mellon site pretty quickly. Sanjiv Singh’s recipe for curried black lentil soup has the dals cooking for two hours. Whoooops.
Other good looking recipes include this one, from 101 Cookbooks. The site beanslentils.com has a nice spicy urad dal dish. And off-topic but way cool: Aarkfood’s ten essentials for the Indian kitchen.