Black Gram

Vigna mungo in sack on wood table

Vigna mungo

Urad Dal, Black Lentil, Beluga Lentil
Vigna_mungo (Wikipedia)

Vigna mungo
Black gram.jpg
Dry urad beans
Scientific classification edit
V. mungo
Binomial name
Vigna mungo
  • Azukia mungo (L.) Masam.
  • Phaseolus hernandezii Savi
  • Phaseolus mungo L.
  • Phaseolus roxburghii Wight & Arn.

Vigna mungo, the black gram, urad bean, uzhunnu parippu, ulundu paruppu, minapa pappu, mungo bean or black matpe bean (māṣa) is a bean grown in South Asia. Like its relative, the mung bean, it has been reclassified from the Phaseolus to the Vigna genus. The product sold as black lentil is usually the whole urad bean, whereas the split bean (the interior being white) is called white lentil. It should not be confused with the much smaller true black lentil (Lens culinaris).

Black gram originated in South Asia, where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It is very widely used in Indian cuisine. In India the Black gram is one of the important pulses grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. This crop is extensively grown in Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, and Villupuram districts of Tamilnadu. The Coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh is known for black gram. The Guntur District ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. In Nepal it is known as kalo maas daal or kalo daal (black legume) and it is a very popular daal (legume) side dish that goes with curry and rice as a platter. Black gram has also been introduced to other tropical areas such as the Caribbean, Fiji, Mauritius, Myanmar and Africa, mainly by Indian immigrants during the Indian indenture system.

Black Gram (Wiktionary)



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


black gram (usually uncountable, plural black grams)

  1. A bean from the seed of Vigna mungo, native to the Indian subcontinent.


  • (bean from Vigna mungo): mungo bean, urad, urad dal, urad bean, black matpe bean


« Back to Glossary Index