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Looking to store uncooked lentils for months, but worried about insects and bugs spoiling the grains? Expert chef and author Pankaj Bhadouria has a few tricks up her sleeve. First things first, always store lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Here are her expert tips:

1. Sun-dry the lentils for a day before you store them. This will get rid of any dampness in them and prevent any insect infestation. This will also prolong their shelf-life.

2. Mix some turmeric in your uncooked lentils. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is a natural disinfectant and when sprinkled on and combined with daals will inoculate the grains from bugs and insects. Plus, turmeric smells pleasant, has a nice colour and extends the shelf-life of the lentils.

3. Rub the uncooked daal with just a few drops of mustard oil. Mix well so that the lentils are coated with a layer of the oil. This will help the lentils maintain their quality irrespective of humidity. Also, the pungent smell of mustard oil will keep insects at bay.

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4. Place the daal in an airtight glass container. Before securing the lid, thrust a few dried red chillies or dried curry or neem leaves into it. This is an effective way to prevent insect and bug infestation.

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Images courtesy: Shutterstock
Creative conceptualised by Vartika Pahuja

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