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Know your Urad bean

Know your Urad bean - Introduction

  • The Urad bean, Vigna mungo, is a bean grown in southern Asia. 
  • It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, de-husked seeds. It, along with the mung bean, was placed in Phaseolus but has been transferred to Vigna
  • It was at one point considered to belong to the same species as the mung bean.

Know your Urad bean - Common names

  • The urad bean is also referred to as:
    • Black gram.
    • Black lentil, not to be confused with the much smaller true black lentil Lens culinaris.
    • Black matpe bean.
    • Dậu đen in Vietnamese, literally: black bean.
    • Maas, in Nepali.

    • Minumulu (మినుములు) in Telugu.

    • Sabit maash in Punjabi.
    • Uddina Bele (ಉದ್ದಿನ ಬೇಳೆ) in Kannada.
    • Ulunthu (உளுந்து) in Tamil.
    • Urad daludad dal.
    • Urd bean, urdurid.
    • White lentil.
  • The product sold as "black lentil" is usually the whole urad bean. 
  • The product sold as "white lentil" is the same lentil with the black skin removed.

Know your Urad bean - Distribution

  • The Urad bean originated in India where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. 
  • It has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian migrants.

Know your Urad bean - Botany

  • It is an erect, sub-erect or trailing, densely hairy annual herb. 
  • The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. 
  • The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to 6 cm (2.5in) long. 

Know your Urad bean - Cuisine

  • The bean is boiled and eaten whole or after splitting into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture. 
  • Ground into flour or paste, it is also extensively used in South Indian culinary preparation like dosa, idli, vada, and papadum. When used this way, the white lentils are usually used.

  • It is very popular in Punjabi cuisine of India and Pakistan.

Know your Urad bean - Nutrition

  • It is very nutritious and is recommended for diabetics, as are other pulses. 
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