Other Names: Urid, Black gram, Black lentil, White lentil
Urad is a 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 6 cm long. The bean is boiled and eaten whole or after splitting into dal; prepared like this it has an unusual mucilaginous texture. Ground into flour or paste, it is also extensively used in culinary preparation like dosa, idli, vada, and papad.It is very nutritious and is recommended for diabetics, as are other pulses.The product sold as 'black lentil' is usually the whole urad bean. The product sold as 'white lentil' is the same lentil with the black skin removed.
Requires plenty of warmth and sunlight for healthy high yielding plant.
As with other beans, urad will grow in all types of soil and as it is deep rooted, it does best in moist, deep soils.
As with other beans, they remain viable for a number of years and germinate quite readily. For sprouts, simply keep damp and warm (15°C - 20°C) for a few days and they will germinate and grow a few cm long. To cultivate the plant sow in damp soil 2 to 3 cm deep, they should germinate within a few days and will be ready to harvest in 3 to 4 months.