Urad (bean)
Overview
 
Vigna mungo, known as urad, urad dal, udad dal, urd bean, urd, urid, black matpe bean, black gram, black lentil [not to be confused with the much smaller true black lentil (Lens culinaris)], maas (in Nepali), đậu đen (Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

, literally: black bean) or white lentil, is a bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

 grown in southern Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. It is largely used to make dal
Dal
Dal is a preparation of pulses which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these, an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi cuisine...

 from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. It, along with the mung bean
Mung bean
The mung bean is the seed of Vigna radiata. It is native to the Indian subcontinent.-Description:They are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color...

, was placed in Phaseolus, but has since been transferred to Vigna.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Vigna mungo, known as urad, urad dal, udad dal, urd bean, urd, urid, black matpe bean, black gram, black lentil [not to be confused with the much smaller true black lentil (Lens culinaris)], maas (in Nepali), đậu đen (Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

, literally: black bean) or white lentil, is a bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

 grown in southern Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. It is largely used to make dal
Dal
Dal is a preparation of pulses which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these, an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi cuisine...

 from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. It, along with the mung bean
Mung bean
The mung bean is the seed of Vigna radiata. It is native to the Indian subcontinent.-Description:They are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color...

, was placed in Phaseolus, but has since been transferred to Vigna. At one time it was considered to belong to the same species as the mung bean.

Black gram originated in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. The coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh is famous for black gram after paddy. The Guntur District ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. Black gram has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.

It is an erect, suberect 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 six cm long. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or, after splitting, made into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture. Ground into flour or paste, it is also extensively used in South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

n culinary preparations, such as dosa
Dosa
Dosa or Dhosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, as well as being popular in Sri Lanka...

, idli, vada
Vada
Vada ; also known as wada or vade or vadai , is a savoury fritter-type snack from South India.-Description:Vada can vary in shape and size, but are usually either doughnut- or disc-shaped and are about between 5 and 8 cm across. They are made from dal, lentil, gram flour or potato.Vada is a...

, and papadum
Papadum
Papadum, also known as papad in Northern India, , pappadam in Malayalam, happala in Kannada, appalam in Tamil, appadum in Telugu, pappadum or poppadom in the UK, is a thin, crisp Indian preparation sometimes described as a cracker. It is typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India...

. When used this way, the white lentils are usually used.

It is nutritious and is recommended for diabetics
Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced...

, as are other pulses. It is very popular in the Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab region of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. It can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes...

 of India and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, where it is known as sabut maash, an ingredient of dal makhani
Dal makhani
-History:Dal Makhani is a signature staple food that originates from Punjab - a state in the north west of India. It is also known, as Maah-ki-dal Dal Makhani is favorite dish to order when dining out in most parts of India. Like the people of Punjab the dish is robust one and not for calorie...

. In Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

, it is known as minumulu (మినుములు), in Kannada as uddina bele (ಉದ್ದಿನ ಬೇಳೆ), in Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 as ulunthu(உளுந்து), and in Oriya
Oriya language
Oriya , officially Odia from November, 2011, is an Indian language, belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is mainly spoken in the Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal...

 as biri dali.

The product sold as "black lentil" is usually the whole urad bean or urad dal. The product sold as "white lentil" is the same lentil with the black skin removed.

Vigna mungo is used in traditional Indian(Ayurveda
Ayurveda
Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words , meaning "longevity", and , meaning "knowledge" or "science". The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India,...

) medicine. Pharmacologically, extracts have demonstrated immunostimulatory activity.

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