We can call this lentil as best friend for south Indian women. This is also known as "Thuvaram paruppu" in TamilThey use this lentil everyday without fail. In order to start solids for small babies, we use this dhall first. From the beginning of 6th month or 8th Month (in some families), moms usually pressure cook this lentil adding a pinch of turmeric powder to it and mix and mash it with cooked rice. They call this paruppu saadam (lentil rice). They also add a pinch of salt and tea spoon of ghee (melted butter) to it. This is the first solid food, we give to our small children in India (or atleast in our family).
This lentil is mainly used to make sambar. The traditional way of serving South Indian food is first payasam (dessert), paruppu (toor dhall cooked), Pachadi, curry, kootu, pickle, vadai, chips and rice. In our everyday pooja to god, we offer cooked rice as naivedya. We put one teaspoon cooked toor dhall on top of it and then we offer it to god. This is our Hindu belief.
Whole toor lentils are yellow with tan jackets, but they're usually sold skinned and split. They have a mild, nutty flavor. They're sometimes sold with an oily coating, which you should rinse off. Lentils without oil coating is also available in stores. We have to check for both before buying this lentil. Look for them at Indian markets.