Black gram which is often called the urad bean, mungo bean or black lentil is a small bean that is widely grown in India. It is related to other Mung beans in the Vigna genus and has the scientific name of Vigna mungo. The bean is widely grown for black lentils which is the whole black gram bean whereas the split bean with its whitish interior is sold as white lentil.
Many people confuse this bean with the ordinary smaller black lentils called Lens culinaris.
Description Of The Plant
It adopts many habits from an erect to semi-trailing, dense hairy bush. Its manner is similar to rapeseed oil plants although these are not related. The pods are narrow and cylindrical and up to 7 cm long.
Use In Cooking
The black gram is fermented to produce a paste called urad dal which is used in the preparation of famous Indian breakfast dishes known as dosa and idli. The dal is prepared from whole or split dehusked beans. The preparation of an idli relies on mixing 1 part of black gram with three to four parts of rice to make a batter. The whole preparation is usually ‘fermented’ before use because it makes it all more palatable.
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