Dolichos lablab L.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||209 kJ (50 kcal)|
Link to USDA Database entry
Cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Lablab purpureus is a species of bean in the family Fabaceae. It is native to Africa and it is cultivated throughout the tropics for food. English language common names include hyacinth bean, dolichos bean, seim bean, lablab bean, Egyptian kidney bean, Indian bean, chicharo and Australian pea. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Lablab.
The plant is variable due to extensive breeding in cultivation, but in general, they are annual or short-lived perennial vines. The wild species is perennial. The thick stems can reach six meters in length. The leaves are made up of three pointed leaflets each up to 15 centimeters long. They may be hairy on the undersides. The inflorescence is made up of racemes of many flowers. Some cultivars have white flowers, and others may have purplish or blue. The fruit is a legume pod variable in shape, size, and color. It is usually several centimeters long and bright purple to pale green. It contains up to four seeds. The seeds are white, brown, red, or black depending on the cultivar, sometimes with a white hilum. Wild plants have mottled seeds. The seed is about a centimeter long.
The fruit and beans are edible if boiled well with several changes of the water. Otherwise, they are toxic due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides, glycosides that are converted to hydrogen cyanide when consumed. Signs of poisoning include weakness, vomiting, dyspnea, twitching, stupor, and convulsions.
In Maharashtra, a special spicy curry, known as vaala che birde (वालाचे बीरडे), is often used during fasting festivals during Shravan month. In Karnataka, the hyacinth bean is made into curry (avarekalu saaru)(Kannada: ಅವರೆಕಾಳು ಸಾರು), 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, and a curry is made out of this deskinned beans known as 'Hitikida Avarekaalu Saaru" In Telangana, the bean pods are cut into small pieces and cooked as spicy curry in Pongal festival season, along with bajra bread; it has been a very special delicacy for centuries.
In Kenya, the bean is popular among the Kikuyu people. 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.
Other common names include Tonga bean, papaya bean, poor man bean (Australia), fiwi bean, Kikuyu bean, lubia bean (Africa), Bounavista pea (Trinidad), and butter bean (Caribbean). It is known as gallinita (Mexico), ataque (France), fuji-mame (Japan), gerenge (Ethiopia), helmbohne (Germany), gueshrangaig (Egypt), louria (Cyprus), and bataw (Philippines). In India it is called chapparadavare, chikkadikai (Kannada), ଶିମ୍ୱ [Simbo] (Odia), avari, mochai (Tamil), anumulu, chikkudu (Telugu), mochakotta (Malayalam), sem, ballar (Hindi), val (Gujarati), ถั่วแปบ (Thai)
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- Vanlauwe, B.; Nwoke, O.C.; Diels, J.; Sanginga, N.; Carsky, R.J.; Deckers, J.; Merckx, R. (2000). "Utilization of rock phosphate by crops on a representative toposequence in the Northern Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria: Response by Mucuna pruriens, Lablab purpureus and maize". Soil Biology and Biochemistry 32 (14): 2063–77. doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(00)00149-8.
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- Hendricksen, RE; Poppi, DP; Minson, DJ (1981). "The voluntary intake, digestibility and retention time by cattle and sheep of stem and leaf fractions of a tropical legume (Lablab purpureus)". Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 32 (2): 389–98. doi:10.1071/AR9810389.
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