I am a twenty one year old male and having the most difficult time of learning to cook edible meals. Haha. :O). My problem this time around is getting lentils to cook properly. I can never seem to get them done. At a market quite far from my home I was happy to find some Urad Dal. These are split and say, "chilka" which I believe means with skin. They are still black on the outside. They are spelled Urid Dals on the packaging. I tried to make Dal Makhani, which is a dish I like a lot, with these. I soaked these split dal over night. Then I boiled them on high, for 3.5 hours on the stove (in a normal pot) with turmeric, ginger and fennel seed. I did not add salt as I've read that this can cause some beans to toughen. The problem is that my dal remain "grainy"... they don't soften up. I have also had the same problem with split green peas in a attempt to make a green pea soup in a crockpot. I don't have a pressure cooker. Would that help? I have normal pots and pans and a small crockpot (slow cooker). I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.