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What in the world are "nirmahl beads"?

I printed out the following recipe for Toor Dahl http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=27769.0
and when reading it over I see it calls for "nirmahl beads." Has anyone heard of this?
I Googled and all I got were the recipe from VW and the same exact recipe, word-for-word, from another website. No idea which came first or if the OP (with only one post) just posted the same recipe on his blog or something.
So what's a nirmahl bead, anyone know?

coriander seed, maybe? Seems to be a big component of toor dal and it's missing from the ingredient list. Never heard of nirmahl beads, so I'm just taking a stab.

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I have been told on another forum that it's tapioca!! I have seen big "beads" of tapioca in my asian market so maybe that's it. I might try to make the dish without and see what happens, since I think if it is tapioca it would only be a thickener...tapioca doesn't have much flavour.

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