|Hyacinth bean plant|
Dolichos lablab L.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||209 kJ (50 kcal)|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.056 mg (5%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.088 mg (7%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.48 mg (3%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||47 μg (12%)|
|Vitamin C||5.1 mg (6%)|
|Calcium||41 mg (4%)|
|Iron||0.76 mg (6%)|
|Magnesium||42 mg (12%)|
|Manganese||0.21 mg (10%)|
|Phosphorus||49 mg (7%)|
|Potassium||262 mg (6%)|
|Zinc||0.38 mg (4%)|
|Link to USDA Database entry
Cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Lablab purpureus, commonly known as the hyacinth bean, Indian bean, calavance, seim (Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago), Egyptian bean, njahi (in the Kikuyu language of Kenya), bulay (Tagalog), bataw (Bisaya), or đậu ván (Vietnamese), a species of bean in the family Fabaceae, is widespread as a food crop throughout the tropics, especially in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable in the West has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.
The hyacinth bean grows as a vine, producing purple flowers and striking electric-purple coloured seed pods. Lablab bean is a good choice for a quick screen on a trellis or fence. It grows fast, has beautiful, fragrant flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and it even produces edible leaves, flowers, pods, seeds and roots. Dry seeds are poisonous due to high concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides, and can only be eaten after prolonged boiling.
In Karnataka the hyacinth bean is made into curry (avarekalu saaru), salad (avarekaalu usli), added to upma (avrekaalu uppittu), and as a flavoring to Akki rotti. Sometimes the outer peel of the seed is taken out and the inner soft part is used for a variety of dishes. This form is called hitakubele avarekalu, which means "pressed (hitaku) hyancinth bean."
In Kenya, the bean is popular among the Kikuyu group. It is thought to encourage lactation and has historically been the main dish for breastfeeding mothers. Beans are boiled and mashed with ripe and/or semiripe bananas, giving the dish a sweet taste.
Names across cultures 
- Malayalam language - Amarakka or Amara payar.
- Kannada: ಅವರೆಕಾಳು (avarekaalu)
- Gujarati: વાલ (Vaal)
- Marathi and Konkani: वाल (vaal)
- Tamil: அவரை (avarai) or மொச்சை (mochai)
- Njahi in Kenya
- Lablab purpureus at Multilingual taxonomic information from the University of Melbourne
- National Research Council (2006-10-27). "Lablab". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables. Lost Crops of Africa 2. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10333-6. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- "Dolichos lablab". Floridata. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Lablab purpureus at FAO
- Lablab purpureus at Missouri Botanical Garden
- Lablab purpureus at Plants For A Future
- Lablab purpureus at North Carolina State University
- PFAF - Lablab purpureus
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hyacinth bean|
- The Hyacinth Bean - Informative but non-scholarly essay on Hyacinth Bean history, uses, etymology.
- The Banglalore bean
- Murphy, Andrea M.; Colucci, Pablo E. A tropical forage solution to poor quality ruminant diets: A review of Lablab purpureus Livestock Research for Rural Development (11) 2 1999
- JSTOR Plant Science
- University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India - Lablab lab