Black Gram-Urad Dal

The black gram Indian pulse (Phaseolus mungo Roxb.), also known as Vigna mungo, black lentil (not to be confused with Lens culinaris), white lentil (some variants), đậu đen (the Vietnamese word for “black bean”), maas (Nepali), black matpe bean, urid, urd, urd bean, udad dal, urad dal, or Urad, is a seed that’s cultivated in Southern Asia. It’s mainly utilized in making dal from split or whole dehusked beans. The black gram, along with the mung bean, was put in Phaseolus but has since been delivered to Vigna. At one point of its existence, it was considered to be the same species as the mung bean.

Origin and Description
India was where black gram originated, and it’s the place where it was grown from ancient times. It’s one of the most highly sought after Indian pulses as well. Indian immigrants help introduce black grams to other tropical areas, among many other means. It is a trailing, sub-erect, or erect, densely hairy herb that’s grown annually. Its tap root synthesizes a branched root scheme with rounded and smooth nodules. Its pods are up to six centimeters long, cylindrical, and narrow. Black grams are boiled and eaten as is or, after splitting, made into a dal dish.

Culinary Uses of Black Gram
When prepared as dal, the black gram tends to feature a unique mucilaginous (a gooey property exhibited by microorganisms and plants) texture. It can be made into paste or ground into flour. South Indian culinary preparations love using it and it’s mainly deployed in dishes like papadum, vada, idli, and dosa; when utilized in this manner, white lentils are the way to go. These nutritious Indian pulses in particular are highly recommended for diabetics. Indian Punjabi cuisine makes constant use of this popular ingredient as well.

India and Pakistan use it in their dishes, and Pakistanis refer to the pulse as “sabit maash”, which is an ingredient of dal makhani. “Minumulu” is what it’s known in Telugu, while “Uddina Bele” is what it’s called in Kannada. In Oriya, it’s known as “Biri Dali”, while in Tamil, it’s referred to as “ulunthu”. The product sold as “black lentil” is typically urad dal or the whole urad bean. Meanwhile, the “white lentil” is the same black gram, but with its distinctive black skin peeled off, hence its whiteness.

Other Uses and Main Areas of Production
Black gram is essential in barian (ground dal spiced balls) or papad (a wafer variant) preparation. Together with rice, it can help prepare idli and dosa as well. Black gram is even utilized medicinally, specifically Indian or Ayuveda medicine. Pharmacological extracts from this Indian pulse have even yielded activity that stimulates the immune system. Black gram is a highly prized bean that’s full of phosphoric acid. The main areas of production for this pulse are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Climate, Soil, and Varieties

Black gram is cultivated as rain-fed crop in cool hills and warm plains. It can also be grown up to a height of over 2,000 meters. It’s claimed that the black gram’s cooking quality is vastly improved when it’s nurtured in the hills containing a moist climate of sorts. Heavy soils or at least those that are stiff loamy and water retentive are the best type of soils for this plant. It also grows quite rapidly on brown alluvium and black cotton soils.
Cultivation and Sowing

The land requires a plough or two plus harrowing to attain a rough tilth (soil that has the proper nutrients and structure to grow healthy crops) for the pure crop during the kharif season. The black gram can be sown dry within furrows between the rows of the other crop, which is then followed by water irrigation. Depending on the climate, variety grown, and agricultural conditions of the region, sowing also entails doing it every early spring or February or June to July or the rainy season or October to November or autumn.

The Importance of Black Gram in India

Black gram is a major pulse in India that’s cultivated all over the country. Once of the major reasons why Indians love propagating this crop is the fact that it improves the fertility of the soil by influencing atmospheric nitrogen content and is resistant to all sorts of weather conditions. More importantly, the black gram plays a major role in the typical Indian diet because it can serve as a supplement to a cereal-based diet and it contains vegetable protein.

Many types of Indian cuisine make use of black gram. It’s used in different types of dal, for example. It can be baked, braised, or prepared by overnight soaking. There are dishes where you can tell if the beans are cooked well enough by mashing them between your fingers. Furthermore, as discussed above, black gram is also used in medicine. Basically, there are culinary, dietary, medicinal, supplemental, and pharmaceutical uses for this particular pulse.

Indian Production of Black Gram
India is the largest producer of the black gram product, which roots mostly from the fact that it’s also the largest consumer of this particular pulse. About 1.5 million tons of black gram pulses are products by India every year. Furthermore, 10% of India’s total pulse production output is purely for the sake of cultivating black gram. The major cultivating states of India are as follows: Madhya Pradesh (13%), Maharashtra (20%), and Andra Pradesh (24%). The other major Indian producers include Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Orissa.

Over 4,500 tons of black grams have been produced for 2002-2003 from Uttar Pradesh Markets and dispatched to places like West Bengal, Mahrashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkand, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, and Bihar. In turn, over 136,000 tons of black grams from Andhra Pradesh Markets have been sent out to West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkand, Chattisgarh, and Bihar for the same period. Finally, 19,000 tons of black grams were distributed mainly to Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh in the case of Karnataka.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 100gm
Calories from Fat 12.6
Calories 347
Total Fat 3.6%
Total Carbohydrate 19%
Dietary Fiber 3%
Protein 48%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Author: Editorial Team

Spice Flair Editorial Team


  1. Tushar Chaudhary says:

    nicely written ,
    i was able to get alll information abut urad

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