(Dry Beans Recipes, Dry Beans Cooking, Types of Dry Beans, List of Dry Beans, Recipes using Dry Beans)
Dry beans are the most commonly available form of pulses in India. As per Wikipedia, India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses. Dry beans are seeds or pods of plants which are sold in dry form. Some of them are sold fresh (raw form) in the markets. These fresh beans are also sold as frozen packs or in cans.
Most of us must be regularly consuming at least 5+ types of dry beans on a regular basis. There are many more types of beans. Some of these beans are available in specific parts of India. In this page, I have made a list all the dry beans that I have come across. I’ve tried to add images of most of them. I have tried my best to explain the taste and texture of the beans and the recipes that commonly use them. I have also shared some of the recipes. To the best of my knowledge, I have shared the local names for the beans in a few Indian languages. For the convenience of the users, I have listed them in alphabetical order.
Soaking and Cooking Beans
Before sharing the details about the beans, I would like to share the general procedure to be followed to prepare any type of beans before using them in recipes. Most dry beans needs to be soaked and then cooked till soft.
Now lets get to the types of beans commonly available and used in Indian cooking.
1. Black Beans
This bean has a black color which may not be pleasing to some. I first came across these beans in the US and loved its meaty texture. It is perfect for making vegetarian patties. These are also used as part of many Mexican dishes. These beans are not commonly available in most parts of India. It is available in Punjab and was traditionally used along with whole black urad bean to make the famous Maa ki dal or Daal Makhani. These days however, it is replaced by red kidney beans in most places due to its non-availability.
Recipes using Black Beans
2. Broad Beans (Fava Beans, Field Beans, Bell Beans)
These beans are locally known as Avarai Beans or Avarakkai Beans in Tamil and Hawai-Amubi in Manipuri. Sometimes these are confused with mochakotai (lima beans), but both are different. These beans are seen in fresh form during winter months in India. The dried form of these beans is not very common. It can be used to make curry that is served with rice, idli or dosa.
Recipes using Broad Beans
3. Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean, Bengal Gram, Egyptian Bean)
This is the most commonly available beans in India. It is available in 3 colors – The pale colored one, also known as Kabuli Channa in hindi, the black one is known as Kala Chana or Desi Chana and the green one is known harbara channa. The white chickpea has a more buttery texture while the black and green ones are nuttier. The black chickpeas are very high in fibre content with low glycemic index, hence recommended for diabetic patients. These are called as Kondai Kadalai in tamil and Kadala in Malayalam. The split black chickpea is sold as channa dal. It is used along with vegetables to make sabzis, use in south India to make usili, adai and masala vadai. Chikpea flour is also used for many recipes like bajji (pakoras), dhokla, Maharashtrian pitla etc. Chikpeas are used to make many many dishes in India, some of which are Sundal, Kerala Kadala Curry, Sabz Channa, Channa Masala, Chole, Hummus etc.
Recipes using Chickpeas
4. Cowpea (Black-eyed Bean, Adzuki Bean)
This is also called Lobia or Rongi in Hindi, Chawli in Marathi, Karamani or Thatta Payir in Tamil, Perum Payaru in Malayalam, Ravaan in Punjab and Kalu in Kannada. It is available in dry form in packets or as fresh beans too. It is the mature seeds of yardlong beans (also called karamani beans or chawli). The color of the mature beans can vary. In India, two varieties are very common. The pale colored one with a black spot is called the Black eyed bean. The red colored one is called the Adzuki Beans and is locally known as Red Chori or Lal Chavali. Some of the famous recipes using this include kaara kuzhambu, puli kuzhambu, sambar, Lobia Curry, Chawli Amti etc. In Tamil nadu and Kerala, it is used to make sweet dishes like Sundal, Sukhiyan and Kozhukattai. A simple lobia masala makes a great side dish for chapatti too. This bean is also used to make vegetarian patties, chili etc.
Recipes using Cowpea
5. Double Beans
Double beans are a type of lima beans that are wider and longer. The mature seeds are about 1-3 cm long and are in kidney shape. It is found in white, red and mottled. It is commonly known as Chinese Rajma. These beans have a very meaty texture and tastes great when prepared like non-vegetarian dishes. It can be used to make kurma, sundal, sabzi with aloo, pulao or biryani.
Recipes using Double Beans
6. Horse Gram
Horse Gram is a bean that is widely used as cattle and horse feed. Due to its many medicinal properties it is consumed by humans too. It is known as Kollu or Kaanam in Tamil, Kulith in Hindi and Marathi, Ulavalu in Kannada, Muthira in Malayalam. Many famous recipes using this bean include Muthira Chammandhi (Kollu Tuvayal), Kollu Rasam, Laddu, Pitla, Ulava Saaru etc.
Recipes using Horse Gram
7. Green Peas
These pea pods are botanically classified as fruits and the peas are its seeds. However, it is also commonly used as a bean variety in India. It is available commonly in green color but is also found in golden yellow color. It is available as fresh pods which are used as a vegetable. It is also available in canned, frozen and dried forms. It is called Matar in hindi, pattani in Tamil. It is used to make a variety of dishes including Peas Pulav, Pattani Kurma, Matar Malai Curry etc. It is added to many dishes as an extra ingredient to give an extra taste like in curries, side dishes, rice dishes like fried rice and noodles preparations.
Recipes using Peas
8. Kidney Bean
These beans are in the shape of a kidney and are available in four colors. The most common is the red variety. In some big super markets, you can also find the light red with speckles. There is also a pale colored one with speckles which very much resembles the pinto beans available in Mexico and the US. I am not sure if both are the same or different. Red kidney beans are popularly known as Rajma in north India and are served with rice (Rajma Chawal) and chapatti. Red kidney beans and pinto beans are the key ingredients in making chili. Pinto bean is used to make the famous Mexican refried beans. Since it is not a native bean of South India, there are not many traditional dishes using this bean.
Recipes using Kidney Beans
9. Lima Beans (Butter Beans)
Lima Beans are also known as butter beans. The dried form is big and white in color while the fresh beans are usually smaller and greenish. Very tender beans are sold as baby limas. It is called as Moccha Kottai in Tamil and Vaal beans in Hindi and Gujarathi. These beans are known for its buttery texture. The popular recipes with lima beans include vaal nu shaak, mochakottai kaara kuzhambu, sundal, vaal chi usal, vaal chi amti etc.
Recipes using Lima Beans
10. Moth Bean
Moth Bean is also called Matki in Hindi and is native to India and Pakistan. It is also called Mat Bean or Turkish Gram. This bean is consumed a lot in North India in various forms like roasted beans, sprouted beans or split beans that is cooked as dal etc. This bean looks like the green gram in shape except that it is brown in color. I am not sure of the Tamil name for this bean but many people call this one also siru payaru (the same name used to refer green gram).
Recipes using Moth Beans
11. Mung Bean (Green Gram)
This bean is native to India and is used both as a whole bean and in the split form. It is called mung in Hindi, paasi paruppu or pacha payiru in Tamil and cheru payaru in Malayalam. It is used to make kootu, Pongal, moong dal, pesarattu, payasam, sukhiyan, sundal, kachori and many more dishes. The split bean is roasted with spices and served as a snack. This bean is often sprouted and used to make salads and sundal. Due to its ease of digestion, this dal is the first one given to infants. It is also used to make kanji along with broken rice and given to sick patients.
Recipes using Green Gram
12. Pigeon Pea
This is another widely used bean in India. It is mostly used in its split form known as tuvar dal or arhar dal in Hindi. It is available throughout India and is known as thuvaram paruppu in Tamil, thuvara parippu in Malayalam, Kandi pappu in Telugu, togari bele in Kannada, toor dal in Marathi, tuver ni dal in Gujarathi, tuver dali in Oriya and rohor dail in Assamese. It is used in a wide range of dishes in both south and north India. Some of the famous recipes include dal, sambar, usili, paruppu podi, adai, bisi bele bath etc. There are many homes in India where this split bean is cooked on a daily basis.
Recipes using Pegion Pea
13. Soy Bean
Soy bean is an excellent source of ‘complete’ protein and a great alternate for meat for vegetarians. It is available as fresh beans, dry beans and soy flour. These days many other soy products are available such as soy milk, tofu, soya chunks and granules. The soy flour can be mixed with puttu flour or chapatti flour to include it in our everyday diet easily. Other than that, the beans can be used to make curries, sundal etc. As far as I know, it is referred to by the same name as soy bean in all Indian regional languages.
Recipes using Soy Bean
14. Urad Bean (Black Gram)
This bean originated in India. It has a black skin but the bean inside is white in color. The split bean is called white lentils or urad dal. The bean is called ulundu in Tamil, minumulu in Telegu, uzhunu in Malayalam, adad in Gujarathi, urad in Hindi and biri dali in Oriya . It is used widely in south India for their famous tiffin dishes like idli, vadai, dosai, ulutham kali and ulundam choru. It is also used to make sundal and murukku. The bean has a slimy texture which makes it perfect for idlis and dosas. I am truly amazed at how our ancestors discovered this bean and they invented many tiffin varieties with it. Idli/dosa batter made with rice and urad bean is a life saver in most homes these days. There is not a single south indian house without dosa batter in their refrigerator. In North India, it is used to make the famous Punjabi daal makhani (also known as maa ki dal).
Recipes using Urad Bean (Black Gram)