🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

Chana dal. Why skim off the white foam?

What is the white foam and why is it bad? Is it just starch? Does it affect the taste? This is the only tedious step when making chana dal, and I'd love to know if I can skip it.

asked by mtrelaun over 5 years ago
7 answers 13165 views
3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

As to what the foam is, I don't know. I've looked at several recipes for chana dal that do not call for skimming the foam, so I can't imagine it's harmful. I say, don't skim it and see how it goes. If you think it tastes better with skimming you can always do so in the future, but if you can't tell a difference then you can just save yourself the hassle from now on.

Wholefoods user icon
added over 5 years ago

The foam is denatured protein from the lentils. Its not harmful, but the soapy nature tends to accumulate microscopic dust etc that may have been sticking to the dals

9ae16185 c926 440b aee2 e06da25bf123  mlt yogateau 1
added over 5 years ago

Thanks everyone! I will try not skimming (and I do thoroughly wash the dal before cooking) and see if I notice a difference in flavor. I will report my findings!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

I was always lead to believe that the reason for both rinsing and skimming was that it would help to reduce the.... Flatulent qualities of the lentils/split peas etc... I could be completely wrong, but figure it best to do what I've been taught on that one!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

I have watched many an auntie make chana in North India, and I don't know anyone who would skim it -- they all made it in pressure cookers. They would just rinse the chickpeas well, soak them overnight, rinse again and then throw them in the pressure cooker the next day.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

Just to clarify -- I was thinking about regular white chickpeas (for chana masala, chole etc) but the same goes for chana dal, which is (I think!) the split black chickpea. I've never skimmed any dal, to no ill effect.

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added over 5 years ago

As for microscopic dust, isn't that what we take in every time we inhale? I'll trust the aunties.

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.