Vigna mungo(Black Gram/Urad Dal)
Kingdom : Plantae
(unranked) : Angiosperms
(unranked) : Eudicots
(unranked) : Rosids
Order : Fabales
Family : Fabaceae
Subfamily : Faboideae
Tribe : Phaseoleae
Genus : Vigna
Species : V. mungo
Binomial name :Vigna mungo
Black grams are also called Black Beluga Lentils. Whole Urad dal/dahl is used more like a chili or stew than a soup or dal/dahl. These lentil-like beans have black skins covering creamy white interiors. Whole urad dal/dahl derive their strong, rich, earthy flavor from the black skins and have an uncanny ability to absorb flavors.
Split and without the skin Urad dal is a white lentil used along with rice to make dosas, the crisp pancakes of southern India and other Rice preparations. In South India, Urad dal is used as a seasoning with mustard seeds for curries.
Black Gram(Urad Dal) Cultivation
|Urad Dal - white lentils|
Black gram originated in India , where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. 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.
It 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 bean is boiled
and eaten whole or, after splitting, made into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture.
|Urad dal idli|
Ground into flour or paste, it is also extensively used in South Indian culinary preparations, such as dosa, idli, vada, and papadum. When used this way, the white lentils are usually used.
It is nutritious and is recommended for diabetics, as are other pulses. It is very popular in the Punjabi
cuisine of India and Pakistan, where it is known as sabit maash, an ingredient of dal makhani. In Telugu, it is known as minumulu , in Kannada as uddina bele , in Tamil as ulunthu, and in Oriya as biri dali.
The product sold as "black lentil" is usually the whole urad bean or urad dal. The product sold as "white lentil" is the same lentil with the black skin removed.
Vigna mungo is used in traditional Indian(Ayurveda) medicine. Pharmacologically, extracts have demonstrated immunostimulatory activity.
Climate : Blackgram is basically a warm weather crop. It comes up in areas receiving annual rainfall of 600-1000mm. It is grown from sea level upto an attitude of 1800m. Optimum temperature requirement is 28 to 32°C. If temperature is <10°C germination doesn't takes place. It is a short-day plant and most cultivars flower in 12-13 hrs photoperiod. Flowering gets delayed with extended photoperiod. As elevation increases flowering is delayed due to low ambient temperature.
Soils: It is grown on a variety of Soils ranging from sandy to heavy black cotton soils. It prefers water
|urad dal dosa|
Seasons: Blackgram can be cultivated through out the year both as rainfed and irrigated crop. It is
predominantly a rainfed crop during rainy and post rainy seasons.
Kharif: Largely grown as intercrop under rainfed conditions. To a limited extent it is grown as sole crop. First fortnight of Jul is the optimum sowing time.
Rabi:Grown on stored soil moisture, largely as sole crop on water retentive heavy soils October second fortnight - opt.sowing time.
Late Rabi: As a relay crop on receeding soil moisture in standing kharif rice before a week of its harvest as sole crop. Optimum time of sowing is Jan-Feb depending on the harvest of rice.
Summer: To a limited extent it is grown as a irrigated crop, especially after the harvest of Rabi rice crop. Second fortnight of April is optimum time of sowing.
Varieties: A number of improved varieties have been developed to suit location specific requirements.
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