Polished vs Unpolished pulses aka dal !!

Polished vs Unpolished pulses aka dal !!

‘Shinier, is Better’ could be well suited for Gold and ornaments but not for food items.. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to to buy shining products without knowing that it is inferior to its crude version in terms of the health benefits it offers. 

Let’s talk about pulses aka dals to be précised.

There are many variations in the market today and the shiny, glossy pulses or long-grain super white rice all look fancier but don’t have as many health benefits when compared with the basic version.


The polishing process of pulses


Have you ever wondered how those pulses got their shine?

Well, before getting to the stores these pulses undergo a multi-step process of polishing which involves processing with water, oil, marble, soapstone powder and leather. Yes, you read it correctly about marble powder and leather (gives it that added lusters).

The process not only smooths the surface, but also adds a glossy and shiny coating. This process not only robs it off essential nutrients but also makes it non-vegan. 


What are the advantages and disadvantages Polished Pulses? 

Key Advantages 

  1. Improves shelf life and storability of the grain 
  2. Reduces impact of microbes and other pests 
  3. Shine makes it more attractive 
  4. Yields better price in the market 


  1. Polishing leads to loss in nutritive and healthy value, mainly natural fiber 
  2. Adulteration with substandard oils, marble powder, etc. is harmful for human consumption 
  3. The polishing agents used can be harmful to our health. The oil coating adds additional fat to the food and marble and soapstone powder are undoubtedly harmful to the body. 
  4. Having lost its outer surface, polished dal is inferior to unpolished dal in their taste. 
  5. Polished dal takes longer to cook, thus adding to more fuel consumption
  6. Through the polishing process dal loses a lot of nutrients and fibers, thus polished is not only less nutritious but also harmful. 
  7. 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 a food would do to your health. 

Presently unpolished dal might be costlier than polished dal only because their availability is rare and unaware people prefer polished dal. 

However if enough awareness is spread among people, the demand for unpolished dal would increase and that of polished dal would decrease. As a result availability of unpolished dal would increase, and hence lower cost. 

I’m hoping that when next time you go out to buy some pulses, you’d ask the shopkeeper for unpolished only. 

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