Cowpea beans (Barboti)

Botanical Name :Vigna unguiculata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus:    Vigna
Species:V. unguiculata
kingdom:K Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names : Cowpea beans ,Barboti

Southern United States, where they are often called black-eyed peas or field peas. In India, in Tamil it is called K?r?mani, or Thatta Payir, the beans are called thatta kaai. In Oriya, it is called jhudunga, in Bengali, it is called barboti kolai or barboti, in Kannada, it is called Alasande, in Telugu, it is called Alasandalu , Bobbarlu. In Hindi, it is called lobhia or bura (when used as a string bean). In Gujarati, these are called chola or chowla. In Marathi, these are called chawali or chavali. It is an integral part of the cuisine in the southern region of India.

Habitat :Cowpeas are one of the most important food legume crops in the semiarid tropics covering Asia, Africa, southern Europe and Central and South America.

Description:
Cowpea beans is an annual an  herb, erect or suberect, spreading, to 80 cm or more tall, glabrous, taproot stout with laterals near soil surface, roots with large nodules, stems usually procumbent, often tinged with purple, first leaves above cotyledons are simple and opposite, subsequent trifoliolate leaves are alternate, the terminal leaflet often bigger and longer than the two asymmetrical laterals, petiole, stout, grooved, 5–15 cm long; leaflets ovoid-rhombic, entire or slightly lobed, apex acute, 6.5–16 cm long, 4–11 cm wide, lateral leaflets oblique; inflorescence axillary, 2–4-flowered, crowded, near tips on short curved peduncles 2.5–15 cm long; calyx campanulate with triangular teeth, the upper 2 teeth connate and longer than rest; corona dull white, yellow, or violet with standard 2–3 cm in diameter, keel truncate; stamens diadelphous, the anthers uniform; pods curved, straight or coiled; seeds 2–12 mm long, globular to reniform, smooth or wrinkled, red, black, brown, green buff or white, as dominant color; full colored, spotted, marbled, speckled, eyed, or blotched; (5–30 g/100 seeds, depending on the cv). Germination phanerocotylar. Fl. early summer. Fr. mid- and late summer, depending on the cv sensitivity tp ;pca;photoperiod and tmperature conditions.
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Cultivation:
Seeds remain viable for several years. Germination is epigeal. Should be planted after danger from frost is past. If seeded for hay or seed, crop should be sown early, but for green manure and pasture purposes, may be seeded late with good results. Rate of seeding varies with method: when planted in rows 10–40 kg/ha, for broadcasting, 90 kg/ha. Cowpeas may be planted in rows, broadcast, or mixed with such other plants as cassava, corn, sorghum, sudangrass, johnsongrass, millets, peanuts, or soybeans. When grown for seed, it is painted in rows, for forage or green manture, broadcast. For hog feed or silage, cowpeas are planted with corn, either at the sime time as or at the last cultivation of corn. In rows, cowpeas are spaced of 5–7.5 cm apart, in rows 75–90 cm apart two or more cultivations are necessary to control weeds. Ordinary corn cultivator equipment is satisfactory, and cultivation should stop when flowering begins. In United States, 600–1,000 kg/ha of a 4-8-8 NPK fertilizer may be applied in bands 5 cm below seeds when planting. Cowpeas are usually grown rainfed, rarely irrigated. For weed control, amines of 2-4-D and MCPA are said to be effective as preemergence sprays. Trifluralin at 0.56–1.12 kg/ha just before sowing is said to give good control. Cowpeas respond slightly to K application up to 45 kg/ha. Calcium ions in the soil aid inoculation. In the United States, application of ca. 1 MT of lime is recommended and favors seed increase more than hay increase. Superphosphate recommendations are 112–224 kg/ha in the United States. Sulfur can limit seed production and/or protein synthesis. Molybdenum recommendations are 20–50 g/ha, and Mn, Cu, Zn, and B are essential, in very small quantities, for effective nodulation and seed yield increases. The cowpea symbiosis has genetic potential for large seed yields: cowpea Rhizobium associations should require only nominal amounts of fertilizer N, if any.

Harvesting:
Early maturing cvs produce pods in 50 days, seed in 90 days, late cvs mature seed in 240 days. Crop ripens unevenly and proper Stage for harvesting is difficult to determine. Usually flowers and green and ripe pods occur on vines at same time. Crop is cut for seed when one-half to two-thirds of pods are ripe. May be harvested by hand, with a special harvester or by self-rake reapers. For hay, crop cut when most pods are fully developed, and first ones have ripened. If cut too early, hay is difficult to cure; if cut too late, stems are long and woody and seed and leaves shatter badly. Ordinary mowing machine is used for harvesting cowpeas.

Edible Uses:
Cultivated for the seeds (shelled green or dried), the pods and/or leaves that are consumed as green vegetables or for pasturage, hay, ensilage, and green manure. The tendency of indeterminate cvs to ripen fruits over a long time makes them more amenable to subsistence than to commercial farming. However, erect and determinate cvs, more suited to monocultural production systems, are now available. If ctut back, many cvs continue to produce new leaves, that are eaten as a potherb. Leaves may be boiled, drained, sun-dried and then stored for later use. In the United States, green seeds are sometimes roasted like peanuts. The roots are eaten in Sudan and Ethiopia. Scorched seeds are occasionally used as a coffee substitute. Peduncles are retted for fiber in northern Nigeria. Crop used to some extent as pasturage, especially for hogs, and may be used for silage, for which it is usually mixed with corn or sorghum. Crop is very useful as a green manure, and leafy prostrate cvs reduce soil erosion.

In Tamilnadu, India, between the Tamil months of Maasi (February) and Panguni (March), a cake-like dish called kozhukattai (steamed sweet dumplings – also called adai in Kerala) is prepared with cooked and mashed cowpeas mixed with jaggery, ghee, and other ingredients. Thatta payir in sambar and pulikkuzhambu (spicy semisolid gravy in tamarind paste) is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu.

In Sri Lanka, cowpeas are cooked in many different ways, one of which is with coconut milk.

In Turkey, cowpeas can be lightly boiled, covered with olive oil, salt, thyme, and garlic sauce, and eaten as an appetizer. Also, they are cooked with garlic and tomatoes. And they can be eaten in bean salad.

In bengal Cowpea beans or barboti is used as a palatable vrgitable with different vegitable curry.

According to the USDA food database, the leaves of the cowpea plant have the hig
hest percentage of calories from protein among vegetarian foods.

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Kamote-Paayap Weaning / Baby Food: A rootcrop-legume combo of dried kamote cubes and paayap girts containing 376 kcal and 12.5 g of protein per 100 g.

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Medicinal Uses:
Constituents:
Study shows of dried edible seeds : moisture, 6.20-8.92%; protein, 20.5-31.7%; fat 1.14-3.03%; fiver 1.70-4.5%; carbohydrate 56-65.7%, with varying amounts of cyanide, tannin, total oxalate and phytate.

In other folkloric medicinal systems, various parts of the cowpea plants (roots, leaves, and seeds) are used for a variety of medical ailments including dysmenorrhea, epilepsy, headaches, constipation,  chest pains and bilharzia.

Different Studies:
*Report on Flatulence and Abdominal Discomfort on Ingestion: 1989 report on abdominal discomfort associated with ingestion of cowpea and the decreased incidence of side effects with pressure cooking and dehulling.

*Antifungal / Antiviral: Study presents evidence of multiple proteins with antifungal and antiviral potency in cowpea seeds. The two proteins, designated alpha-antifungal and beta-antifunga, were capable of inhibiting HIV reverse transcriptase and one glycohydrolases associated with HIV infection. The proteins also retarted the mycelial growth of a variety of fungi, with the alpha-protein more potent in most cases.

*Protein Source/ Anti-Nutrient Factors : Study suggests cowpea as a valuable protein source with the predicted protein deficit in Southern Africa. Unlike other legumes, VU contain antinutritional factors (ANF) as trypsin inhibitors, tannins and phytates.

*Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the anti – inflammatory activity of Vigna unguiculata seed extract..

* Anti-Bleeding: Rats on boild white rice dite developed symptoms of severe vitamin K deficiency and the addition of autoclaved beans of V. unguiculata in the diet prevented the bleeding syndrome.

* Antifungal / Antibacterial: Results have indicated antifungal and some antibacterial activity by cowpea leaf extracts.

* Lipids / Constituents: Dried edible seeds of V unguiculata and P vulgaris grown in Northern Nigeria were studied for its chemical constituents. Iodine values were higher in vigna. Overall, potassium was the most abundant element in the seeds.16 amino acides were identified. Study highlights the safety and high nutritive values of the studied varieties.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowpea
http://stuartxchange.com/Paayap.html
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Vigna_unguiculata.html

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