Toor is a noun that refers to a type of lentil commonly grown and consumed in various parts of Asia, particularly in India. Scientifically known as Cajanus cajan, it belongs to the legume family and has a small, oval-shaped seed which is typically split and hulled before being used in cooking. The toor lentil is widely recognized for its distinctive yellow color, which sets it apart from other lentil varieties.
Culinary use of toor is prevalent in many traditional dishes, adding a rich and earthy flavor to various recipes. It is highly versatile and can be incorporated into soups, stews, curries, or as a standalone lentil dish. Toor dal, a popular Indian dish, involves cooking the lentils until they are soft and then tempering them with various spices, such as cumin, turmeric, and mustard seeds, to enhance its taste. Additionally, toor lentils are considered a significant source of plant-based proteins and essential nutrients, making them a crucial component of vegetarian and vegan diets.
Moreover, toor can be found in dried and split forms in most grocery stores or specialty markets catering to South Asian cuisine. Its high protein content, ease of preparation, and nutritional benefits have contributed to the widespread popularity of toor lentils both within and outside Asian communities.