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Chana dal or Bengal gram dal is split chickpeas kernel. Traditionally this chickpeas lentil or chana dal was produced by soaking the whole chickpeas, then removing the loose skins. However, nowadays it is readily available in any Indian grocery store. Chana dal is also used to make Besan or gram flour, which is used as paste with water or yoghurt, as batter or breading for many Indian fritters
Toor dal or arhar dal is a split pigeon pea with subtle nutty flavor. It is one of the yellow dal. Toor dal is an ancient crop, believed to be cultivated for food since last 3000 years. Toor dal looks similar to chana dal and can be substituted with or for chana dal. In Indian grocery store, you can get toor dal with oil coating to increase its shelf life or one without oil coating. Toor dal is also used to make a poula Andhra dish Kandi Podi, which is ground toor dal with with chana dal or mung dal along with spices such as dried red chili, hing, cumin, curry leaves, salt.
Toor dal is also commonly known as rahar, toovar, togari, tuvaram paruppu, etc in local languages around Indian subcontinent. Also spelled, Tur dal.
Urad dal is also known as black gram or black matpe beans. Urad dal has somewhat shiny black coating and white pod. It is either sold as black whole bean, black and white split bean (as shown in picture above) or white coat removed bean. Urad has high glutamate (glutamic acid) content, which the amino acid responsible for umami (meaty) flavor. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is commercial example of glutamate food additive.Urad is used throughout the Indian subcontinent as dal. It is often used in south Indian cooking for making dishes such as uttapam, upama, dosa
Wheat was introduced in Mexico by the Spaniards around 1520, and to early American colonists in the 1600's . At that time it was not popular in New England due to the soils and climate, but in the mid 1800's wheat was grown from seeds introduced by migrating Europeans and agricultural scientists in the area that would later be called the "Wheat Belt."
Wheat is generally grown intended for food for humans, but lesser quality wheat and the nutrient-dense by-products of flour refining are used for animal feed. Wheat is also used for whiskey and beer production, and the husk can be separated and ground into bran. Before the introduction of corn into Europe, wheat was the principal source of starch for sizing paper and cloth.
Bajra is a rapid-growing warm weather crop suitable for areas with 40-75 centimeter of annual rainfall. For the vegetative growth of crop moist weather is useful. The crop does best under conditions of light shower followed by bright sunshine. The best temperature for growth of bajra is between 20-28 degree centigrade.
In India bajra is grown over an area of 11.34 million hectares with total production of 5.5 million tons. It is grown everywhere in India. It is generally grown in the areas of low rainfall and in poor soils.
Bajra is grown as a Kharif season crop in northern India; but with irrigation it can be grown as a summer crop in southern India.
Maize is commonly known as corn in some countries. The growing of corn first began in Mesoamerica and has since spread throughout the American continents. Today maize is the largest crop in the Americas. There has been much disagreement about the origin of maize in Mesoamerica. There are some reports that the Spanish first grew maize in southern Mexico. The domestication of maize has been dated back as far back as 12,000 years ago.
The United States produces the largest amount of maize throughout the world, but there are other countries that also produce high quantities of maize as well such as China, Brazil and South Africa. In 2003 there was six hundred metric tons of maize produced in the world. Maize can only be produced in areas that do not have extreme cold temperature, as it is a cold-intolerant crop.
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