Grown in Southern Asia. Can be either split or whole. Used to make dal. Skin is black. When skin is removed, inside is white. When ground into flour or paste, is used in the preparation of thosai, idli or vadai.
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 long. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or after splitting into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. It is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables in Southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout Northern India & Pakistan. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Sri Lankan cooking of dal resembles that of southern Indian dishes.
Conserving and Storing
Store beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep up to 12 months. If you purchase black beans at different times, store them separately since they may feature varying stages of dryness and therefore will require different cooking times.