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Botanical Name : Vigna mungo
Species: Vigna mungo
Common Names: Urad dal, Vigna mungo, Black gram, Black lentil, Ulunthu in Tamil, Minumulu in Telugu,”‘uddinab??e”‘ in Kannada, Urad Dal in Hindi, or white lentils.
Local Indian Names:
Gujarati: alad, adad
Hindi: urad dal, urad dal
Kannada: uddu, uddina bele
Sinhala : undu
Tulu: urdu bele
Bengali: mashkalai dal
Other names include:
Oriya: biri dali
Vietnamese: dauu muong an
Habitat: Vigna mungo is native to India, where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India and Pakistan. The coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh is famous for black gram after paddy. The Guntur District ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. Black gram has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.
Vigna mungo or urad dal is an erect, suberect 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 six cm long. The plant grows 30–100 cm with large hairy leaves and 4–6 cm seed pods. While the urad bean was, along with the mung bean, originally placed in Phaseolus, it has since been transferred to Vigna.
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Vigna mungo is popular in India, largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or, after splitting, made into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture. It is also extensively used in South Indian culinary preparations. Urad Dal is one of the key ingredient in making the Idli-Dosa batter, where one part of Urad Dal is mixed with Three or Four parts of Idli Rice to make the batter. Also the dough for Vada or Udid Vada is made from soaked batter and deep fried in cooking oil. The dough is also used in making Papad, notably the South Indian version known as Appalam and Papadum, in which white lentils are usually used.
It is very popular in the Punjabi cuisine, as an ingredient of dal makhani. In Bengal it is made as a preparation called Biulir Dal. In Rajasthan, It is used to prepare dal which is especially consumed with “Bati”.
Neutritional Value: Urad dal is very nutritious as it contains high levels of protein (25g/100g), potassium (983 mg/100g), calcium (138 mg/100g), iron (7.57 mg/100g), niacin (1.447 mg/100g), Thiamine (0.273 mg/100g), and riboflavin (0.254 mg/100g). Black gram complements the essential amino acids provided in most cereals and plays an important role in the diets of the people of Nepal and India. Black gram has been shown to be useful in mitigating elevated cholesterol levels.
It is nutritious and is recommended for diabetics, as are other pulses.
Ayurveda Medicinal properties of Black gram or urad dal:
According to texts of ayurveda this bean is heavy to digest and increases the moistness of body tissues. It is sweet to taste and hot in potency. All these properties help to normalize or calm vitiated vata. Consumption of this bean increases kapha and pitta.
Imbalanced vata dosha causes many diseases and also leads to men health problems like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low sperm count and motility etc. Hence Ayurveda acharyas recommend use of “masha” in many health conditions.
Anti inflammatory properties: According to principles of ayurveda vitiation of vata causes inflammation of tissues and initiates the sensation of pain.“Masha” or urad dal normalizes vata and hence has anti inflammatory properties. Usually a hot poultice of black gram is used in inflammation of joints and muscle pain. Massaging with herbal oil processed with this wonderful herb helps to reduce pain and inflammation
Nervous system disorders: This herb strengthens nervous system. Ayurveda acharyas recommend preparations of this herb in nervous debility, partial paralysis, facial paralysis and other disorders which involve nervous system.
Disorders of digestive system: “Vigna Mungo” or masha helps to increase bulk of stools. The moistness increasing property coupled with bulk increasing quality helps in easy movement of bowel. Therefore usage of this bean is recommended in conditions like constipation, piles and colic. This herb is a very good liver stimulant.
Action on male reproductive system: Texts of ayurveda eulogize the aphrodisiac properties of black gram. It increases sperm count and sperm motility.(Increases quality and quantity of semen). It is very effective in erectile dysfunction (impotence) and premature ejaculation
Action on female reproductive system: This herb is effective in dysmenorrhea and primary amenorrhea .It increases milk secretion in lactating mothers.
Apart from above mentioned medicinal properties, black gram also helps in increasing body bulk and body energy level. It strengthens the body and increases lifespan.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.