Shalimar Masoor

The bright orange hue of the split red lentil – Masoor from Kashmir is delicious upon cooking. A variety of crop recommended by the ICAR as a seed that is high in protein content and comes in three different varieties based on the altitudes it is grown at.

The Shalimar Masoor gets its name from the Shalimar Mughal Gardens in Kashmir. Shalimar literally means "beautiful and strong". The crop is grown from rainfed fields to farms at altitudes up to 1800 meters using natural farming methods. The inherent quality of the Shalimar Masoor makes it fairly resistant to disease, therefore saving the need for pesticides.

The Shalimar Masoor is cooked either as dal, lentil soup or even a Chilli. Traditional Kashmiri cooking avoids using tomatoes or onions in this dal and it is cooked in ghee with ginger powder, green chillies, turmeric, asafoetida, coriander, and salt to taste.

Kashmiri Red Moong Dal

The Red Moong Dal from Kashmir is different from other varieties of green and yellow moong found across India. Its slightly bigger size and mud-red colour make it easy to spot amongst other lentils.

It is rich in protein, iron, and magnesium. Grown on farms at altitudes up to 1600 meters, this lentil is also known for its rich folate and fibre content. Grown naturally without the use of chemicals allows its natural nutritional qualities to remain intact.

Kashmiris make use of the Red Moong in dal preparation. It is soaked for a few hours before pressure cooking to achieve the best results.

Ladakhi Winter Peas

The green peas of Ladakh are small, hard, brown, and also known as Winter Peas or Maple Peas. Ladakh is a high-altitude cold desert, and the peas serve as a staple food in harsh winters where temperatures plunge to as low as -30° C.

The farmers in Ladakh grow these peas over four to five months, peel them after harvest and dry them in sun before storing them away. The Ladakhi Winter Peas are rich in protein and full of nutrients such as manganese, molybdenum, and the B group of vitamins, especially B1.

These green peas have an earthy and nutty flavour and the Ladakhis use them in various preparations including Thukpa (soup) and Chu-Tagi (Chu means “water” in Ladakhi and tagi means “bread”. Therefore, the literal translation of “Chutagi” is “water-bread”). Chu-tagi is a delicacy comprising bow-tie-shaped pieces of dough cooked in a thick soup made of potatoes, carrots, winter peas, and local leafy green vegetables.

Uttarakhand Gahat Dal

Gahat, also known as Kulith and Horse Gram, is an Indian Super Food. Grown on terraced fields in the high-altitude villages of Uttarakhand, this lentil is unique in its light/dark brown, small bean-like appearance.

Small farmers across Uttarakhand grow Gahat using traditional farming methods and zero use of chemicals. The rich Himalayan soil ensures that its nutrients remain energized post-harvest.

Gahat is well known for aiding in the treatment of gall bladder stones, kidney stones and maintaining general renal health. It is endowed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Traditional Pahadi homes of Kumaon and Garhwal soak, pressure-cook and then combine this dal in a tomato-onion gravy adding unique spices such as Gandrayan.