Black Gram is extensively used in India and is one of the most valued pulses, due to its culinary values. Originating in India, this warm weather crop bears an erect herb and belongs to the Asiatic Vigna crop group. Black Gram has a very short life span ranging from 90 to 120 days.
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Black Gram Scientific Name
The scientific name for Black Gram is Vigna Mungo.
Black Gram Common names
Black gram is known with many names such as urad, urad dal, udad dal, urd bean, urd, urid, black matpe bean and black lentil.
Black Gram Description
Black Gram is an erect upright herb with thick hair and flat nodules. Grown annually, these herbs are used extensively in curries and derive their crude sapidity from their upper skin.
Color: Black Gram bears a sheen black color skin. Beneath the skin is a whitish portion which is oval in shape.
Size: The slender pods of Black Gram reach to a maximum height of 6cms.
Shape: Black Gram is cylindrical and vertical in shape.
Shell: These pulses have a thick black shell which covers the whitish velvety interiors.
Flavor: These nutritious pulses have a very strong earthy flavor.
Texture: Enriched with a smooth polished outer texture, Black Gram is composed of a whitish creamy bland juice at its base.
Black Gram Distribution
Black Gram is native to both tropical and sub-tropical countries where it is sown primarily in the summer season. Originated in India, Black Gram has always been a major part of the Indian culinary since primeval. It is cultivated in various countries of Asia such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is also cropped in Africa due to the availability of enriched soil and suitable climate required for Black Gram harvesting.
Black Gram Nutrition Facts
Black gram has a number of nutritional benefits which makes it one of the highly prized pulses in India.
Varieties of Black Gram
Among the different types of Black Gram available in the market, few are acquired by people. Type 27, Type 56, Pusa 1, Pant 430, K, hargone 3, ADT 1 to 3, HPU 6, T 65, LBG 402, LBG 22 and LBG 20 are some of the varieties of Black Gram which are currently in use all over India.
How to Grow Black Gram
Black Gram is a widely used pulse in India with high phosphoric acid content. Due to its essential culinary essence, specific growing conditions are required to harvest it:
- Climate- The most preferred climatic condition for growing Black Gram is 27-30 ° C with heavy rainfall. This rainfed crop can be grown both in cool hills and in warm plains, to a maximum altitude of 2000 meters. Black Gram harvested in hilly area or in moist climate is better in quality and taste, when cooked properly.
- Soil- Black Gram or Urad prefers loamy soil which has high water preservation capability and a pH balance of 5.5-7.5. Black cotton soil and brown alluviums can also be used for growing Black Gram.
- Land- The land is ploughed once or twice in the Kharif season to obtain the purest form of crop.
- Sowing- With all the required chemicals the crop is sown at the beginning of early spring or during rainy season, keeping all other climatic and agricultural conditions constant.
- Fertilizer- Mucking should be done with 25-40 kg per ha of Phosphorous along with 25 kg per ha of nitrogen.
- Irrigation- Unless there is a dry climatic effect on the harvested yields, irrigation is not required for this rich Kharif crop. There should be a time hiatus of 8-10 days in summer during irrigation.
Black Gram Health Benefits
A number of health and nutritious benefits can be derived from Black Gram that is essential for human body growth and development.
- Black Gram is a nutritious bean and serves as a major ingredient in Indian culinary for preparing a healthy diet.
- Black Gram is rich in sodium, phosphorous, potassium and calcium.
- Presence of large amounts of Iron in Black Gram helps to boost the human memory.
- The calories and fats present in Black Gram prove essential for proper human body growth.
Black Gram Uses
Black Gram is widely used in India and abroad due to its plethora of edible and medicinal values. Being healthier than other pulses, Black Gram forms an important part of a healthy balanced diet.
- Black Gram is used in a number of culinary preparations such as papad and curries.
- The green wholesome pods of Black Gram are mainly consumed as vegetables.
- Black Gram is one of the largely used Dals and hence serves as one of the most essential and mandatory recipe in Indian households.
- Black Gram, also known as Urad Dal, is also used for preparing idlis, vadas and dhosas.
- Serves as an emollient and has a comfy effect on human skin.
- Preferably used as a nervine tonic, due to the essential ingredients present in it.
- When taken with gourd juice and honey, Black Gram heals mild diabetes, if taken daily for 3-4 months.
- Black Gram acts as a healthy supplement for people suffering from malnutrition.
- Black Gram can be taken with wheat bread and honey for treating impotency.
- It heals a number of nervous disorders such as weakness of memory, schizophrenia, nervous weakness and hysteria.
- Black Gram paste, when applied on hair keeps dandruffs at bay and cures a number of hair problems at the same time lengthening the hair to a maximum level.
- Black Gram treats digestive disorders and is crucial in curing gastric catarrh, dysentery, dyspepsia and diarrhea.
- Rheumatic pains, stiff shoulder and contracted knee can be healed with the help of the medicinal properties present in Black Gram.
Black Gram Recipes
Black Gram or Urad dal is used for preparing a number of delicious Indian dishes, rich in nutrition and protein
- Urad Dal Ladoo.
- Urad Dal Ki Kachauri.
- Urad dal chutney.
- Sukhi Urad Dal.
- Urad Dal Raita.
- Urad Dal Rice.
- Black Dal with Herbs.
- Black Daal.
- Urad-Maida Dosai.
- Ulunthu Dosai with Molagai Chutney.
- Wheat and Urad Dosa.
- Black Gram Flour Cake.
- Urad Dal Muruku.
- Urad Vada.
- Urad Dal Vada in Sugar Syrup.
Using Black Gram during Pregnancy
Black Gram does not have any adverse effect during pregnancy. However pregnant women suffering from constipation should strictly avoid food dishes made from Black Gram, to evade from acute stomach problems.
Black Gram Side Effects
Disproportionate use of Black Gram causes flatulence and leads to accumulation of excessive gas in the alimentary canal of human body. Due to the presence of oxalic acid in high proportion, Black Gram should not be consumed by those who are easily susceptible to rheumatic diseases.
Black Gram Interesting Facts
- Black Gram is comprehensively used as a cattle feed all over India.
- The pulse serves as an essential component in preparing Dal Makahni, an important meal for the Punjabis.
- Indian immigrants introduced Black Gram in many tropical countries.
Black Gram Pictures
Here are some images of Black Gram.
- by Amit Shah
- April 17th 2012