Types of Pulses in India | 10 Variety of Indian Pulses

In this blog, we explore the types of pulses in India that are cultivated across the country, from the earthy and hearty flavours of chickpeas and kidney beans to the delicate and nutty taste of mung beans and pigeon peas.

List of Pulses in India

We take you on a flavorful journey through the diverse world of Indian pulses. Pulses, also known as lentils or legumes, are an integral part of Indian cuisine and hold a cherished place in the country’s culinary traditions.

Here we have listed the Name of 10 types of Pulses in India.

1. Chana Dal: Known for their nutty flavour and versatility, chickpeas are used in various dishes like chana masala, hummus, and falafel.

Major producing states include Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

2. Kidney Beans or Rajma: Rajma, with its robust and creamy texture, is a staple in North Indian cuisine. It is commonly used in dishes like rajma masala and rajma chawal.

Rajma is mostly popular in North Indian cuisine.

3. Mung Beans / Moong dal /Green Gram): Mung beans are small, green, and oval-shaped with a mild, earthy flavour. They are used in various forms, such as whole beans, split dal, and sprouts, in dishes like moong dal tadka, dal dhokli, and salads.

Major producing states include Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.

4. Pigeon Peas /Toor dal /Arhar dal): Pigeon peas are a popular pulse in India. You will find it from south to north Indian cuisine, They are used in dishes like sambar, rasam, and dal fry.

Major producing states include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.

5. Black-Eyed Peas /Lobia/Chawli: Black-eyed peas have a distinctive flavour and are used in curries, stews, and salads. They are commonly known as lobia or chawli in India.

6. Urad Dal / Black Gram: Urad dal is made from black gram and has a rich and creamy texture. It is a key ingredient in popular dishes like dal makhani, idli, dosa, and vada.

7. Moth Dal/ Turkish Gram/Dew Gram: Moth dal, also known as matki dal or Turkish gram, is a type of lentil commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is small, oval-shaped, and light brown in colour. Moth dal has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture when cooked. It is a good source of protein, dietary fibre, and various nutrients.

8. Kulthi Dal / Horse Gram : Kulthi dal, or horse gram, is a dark brown legume with a nutty flavour. It is primarily used in South Indian cuisine to make dishes like kulfi dal rasam and horse gram curry.

9. Split Mung Dal: Yellow split mung beans, also known as yellow moong dal or yellow moong lentils, are a popular type of lentil used in Indian cuisine. These beans are actually whole green mung beans that have been skinned and split in half. When split, they reveal a vibrant yellow colour. Yellow split mung beans are known for their mild and nutty flavour.

10. Kala chana: It also known as black chickpeas, is a variety of legumes commonly used in Indian cuisine. Despite the name “black,” the colour of kala chana is actually dark brown. These legumes are small, firm, and have a nutty flavour.

Kala chana is highly nutritious and rich in protein, fibre, and essential minerals. They are a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets due to their high protein content. Kala chana is often used in a variety of Indian dishes, both in its whole form and as flour.

Role of Indian Pulses In Indian Food Habit.

In Indian cuisine, pulses hold a prominent and essential place. They are a significant source of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients, making them an important part of the Indian diet, especially for vegetarians.

Different types of Pulses are used in a wide variety of dishes, including dals (lentil-based soups), curries, snacks, Sweets, FlatBreads, desserts etc.

What is the Difference Between Legumes, Lentils, Pulses, Beans and Dry Peas?

Understanding the distinctions between legumes, lentils, pulses, dal, beans, and dry peas can be helpful. Here’s an overview of each term:

Legumes: Legumes are a broad category of plants (leguminous plants) that belong to the Fabaceae family.

The defining feature of legumes is their fruit, which is a pod containing one or more seeds. These seeds are often referred to as legumes and they are the edible part of the plant that holds significant nutritional value.

Common examples of legumes include:

  • Beans: Such as kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and soybeans.
  • Peas: Including green peas, split peas, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
  • Lentils: Varieties like brown lentils, green lentils, red lentils, and French green lentils.
  • Peanuts: Despite being commonly referred to as nuts, peanuts are botanically classified as legumes.

Note: All pulses are legumes but not all legumes are pulses.

Pulses: Pulses are a subcategory of legumes that specifically refers to the dried seeds harvested from leguminous plants. Pulses include lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. They are highly nutritious, rich in protein, fibre, and various vitamins and minerals.

Lentils: Lentils are a specific type of legume that refers to small, lens-shaped edible seeds. They come in various colours, including green, brown, red, yellow, and black. Lentils are commonly used in cooking and are known for their nutritional value and versatility in different cuisines

Beans: Beans are another subcategory of legumes, typically referring to the large, podded seeds of certain leguminous plants. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colours, such as kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans. Beans are commonly used in various cuisines worldwide and can be cooked into soups, and stews, or used in salads and side dishes.

Dry Peas: Dry peas, as the name suggests, refer to the dried seeds obtained from specific varieties of peas. They are commonly used in soups, stews, and other culinary preparations. Examples include green peas, yellow peas, and split peas.

In summary, Legumes are a broad category of plants, Lentils are a specific type of legume, Pulses are the dried seeds of leguminous plants, Dal refers to cooked preparations of split pulses or lentils in Indian cuisine, Beans are a subcategory of legumes with large seeds, and dry peas specifically refer to dried pea seeds.

Each term has its own characteristics, culinary uses, and nutritional profiles.

Read More: Varieties of Indian Rice

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