Urad dal retains the skin and also has a strong flavour. Skinned and urad dal is creamy white and somewhat bland.
When boiled, the dal has an unusual mucilaginous texture. Tempered aromatically, it can be used as an accompaniment to rotis and rice.
Ground into flour or paste, it is extensively used in culinary preparations like dosa, idli, vada, and papad. In south Indian cuisine, urad dal is also commonly used for tempering. For such purposes, the white lentils are generally used.