Agri Business

BDN2: Gujarat’s wonder dal

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on January 18, 2018 Published on July 29, 2016

Even as pulses prices have shown signs of easing on improving supplies and expectations of a good kharif harvest, prices of the premium tur dal variety (BDN2), better known as Gujarati tur dal, are unlikely to cool down in the short term despite a surge in acreage in the major producing regions.

Known for its flattish appearance and distinct taste and aroma, the premium BDN2 is the preferred choice of consumers in Western India, mainly Gujarat.

The BDN2 pigeonpea, which is currently ruling at ₹210/kg in the branded retail market and at around ₹125 at the mill-gate at Vasad in Gujarat, will continue to be in short supply even after imports from Africa begin next month.

Grown mainly in the Central and Western parts of the country, including Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and parts of Vidarbha in Maharashtra, as on July 25, the pulse had been sown on an area of 2,42,300 hectares in Gujarat, 48 per cent more than last year.

Gujarat mostly produces the BDN2 variety, which is preferred by those who relish North Indian and Gujarati cuisines.

Be it the famous North Indian Dal Tadka, Luknow’s popular Dal Gosht or irresistible Gujarati Khichdi, the BDN2 variety is popular for its aroma, taste and quick cooking.

“ Indian tur dals are preferred to the dals imported from Sudan, Burma and Tanzania. And among the Indian varieties, the most popular is BDN-2,” said Suresh Agarwal, a leading pulses trader in Mumbai.

Nationally, tur sowing has increased by 67 per cent from 25.61 lakh hectares (lh) last year to 42.93 lh as on July 29.

Experts classify tur dal varieties mainly into two types. One, has a white-yellow seed, while the other type is a reddish seed.

“North Indian consumers are habituated to this variety and because of its lesser availability due to limited crop area, this is considered a premium variety. This variety has only 7-10 per cent share in the total tur dal production in the country,” said Agarwal, who is also Vice-President of the India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA).

As per the third advanced estimate of the Government of India, tur production in the kharif season is likely to be 2.60 million tonnes for 2015-16, while total pulses production is estimated to be 5.49 million tonnes.

Southern comfort

The bigger and darker variety is largely sown in Southern India and parts of Central India, and mainly used for South Indian cuisines. “The red variety is mainly consumed in South India as it has a bigger seed and also makes darker dal, which is useful for making sambhar or other South Indian cuisines. The white-yellow variety is popular across the country and commands a premium,” said Mitesh Patel of Laxmi Toor Dal.

Patel sells his Laxmi brand of premium tur dals online through his own portal at ₹1,010 for a 5-kg pack (₹202/kg).

“The local tur, which is sown in the kharif season, will not be available before November. Hence, those waiting for prices of this variety to come down may have to wait longer,” says Patel.

Published on July 29, 2016
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