Green peas are winter crops. Fresh green peas are readily available from December till April. However dry seeds or products of seeds like split peas, flour...are made available in the markets all around the year.
While shopping for green peas look for fresh pods that are full, heavy in hands and brimming with seeds. Avoid those with wrinkled surface or over-matured, yellow colored pods.
Peas are best eaten immediately after their harvest since the sugar content in the seeds rapidly converted in to starch. If you have to store at all, then place them inside the vegetable compartment of home refrigerator set with high relative humidity where they keep fresh for 2-3 days.
Yellow Peas, also known as Dry Peas, are one of the most widely used pulse crops in the world. A native of China, Yellow Pea cultivation currently is concentrated in few countries in the world. Broadly two varieties --dry green peas and dry yellow peas--exist for Yellow Peas.
Peas are the most heavily imported pulse into India. Global output of Yellow Peas is estimated to be around 12 million tons. Canada accounts for bulk of the global output with over 3 million tons on average per year.
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.
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.
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.