Black Gram is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. 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 6cms. long. It is the most nutritious of all pulses. Black gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from very ancient times. Later it has been introduced to other tropical areas of the world by sub content immigrants. Now it is found in many areas of Asia and Africa.
Black Gram is also known as Black Lentil and Urad Dal. Its nutritional value is high and that is why it is recommended for diabetics. Black gram is a rich protein food. It contains about 26 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals.
Black gram supplies a major share of protein requirement of vegetarian population of the country. It is consumed in the form of split pulse as well as whole pulse, which is an essential supplement of cereal based diet. The combination of dal-chawal (pulse-rice) or dal-roti (pulse-wheat bread) is an important ingredient in the average Indian diet.
The Urad Dal bean is best cooked without splashing first. Urad Dal is utilized to make dosas, the fresh flapjacks of southern India furthermore pappadums. In a few sections of India, Urad Dal is utilized as a flavoring with mustard seeds and for curries. These lentil-like Urad beans have dark skins covering smooth white insides. Dark skin gives them rich hearty flavor. They have an uncanny capacity to assimilate flavors. Dark Lentil gives protein and cholesterol-bringing down dissolvable fiber, and also about twice as much iron as different vegetables. It is suggested for diabetics, as are different pulses. Lentils are higher in most B vitamins and folate, which is particularly imperative for ladies of childbearing age since folate lessens the danger of birth deformities.
In addition, being an important source of human food and animal feed, it also plays an important role in sustaining soil fertility by improving soil physical properties and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Being a drought resistant crop, it is suitable for dryland farming and predominantly used as an intercrop with other crops.
Black Grams are available in following varierties: