Pulses (grain legumes)
Pulses are legumes which produce seeds that are harvested when dry, then cooked for human food. They are high in protein and can substitute for meat in the diet. Oil content ranges from almost none to high. They also provide good quantities of B vitamins. Carbohydrate contents vary, but often include long chain carbohydrates that are difficult to digest and lead to flatulence (gas). Most grain legumes contain antinutrients or poisonous substances and need to be thoroughly cooked before eating. Under proper conditions they can be stored for many years.
Some grain legumes are commonly used for other purposes, as edible leaves or leguminous vegetables, in which case the same species will be mentioned in more than one section of this publication. Most tropical grain legumes are annuals, but some are weakly perennial. Their climatic adaptation varies, and some have severe insect and disease problems which limit their use. Variety trials are desirable, as there may be considerable variation within a species. ECHO's varieties represent a small proportion of those available, and there are many minor species not in ECHO's collection.
See A Comparison of Pulses
• Bush bean. Phaseolus vulgaris. 'Contender'-see Leguminous vegetables.
• Chickpea (Garbanzo). Cicer arietum. Cool-season crop; drought tolerant; immature beans used as a vegetable.
• Cowpea. Vigna unquiculata. Thailand long bean (catjang)-very productive climbing or trailing vine; 8-10" pods; must be harvested before it becomes stringy; tasty, disease-resistant. Yardlong beans. (EDN 23-6).
• Cowpea. Vigna sinensis. Cowpea (black-eyed pea).
• Fava or broad bean. Vicia faba. See Leguminous Vegetables.
• Hopi Red Lima bean. Phaseolus lunatus. Very drought tolerant.
• Horse gram. Dolichos biflorus. Tolerates drought and poor soils; small seeds; rarely attacked by insects or disease; eaten boiled or fried.
• Lablab bean. Dolichos lablab. (See Leguminous Vegetables.) All varieties (Red, White, Rongai, and Highworth) can be used as pulses. (EDN 20-5, 31-3).
• Lentil. Lens culinaris. Crimson variety of drought-resistant Middle Eastern pulse. Early blooming date. (EDN 40-7).
• Marama bean. Tylosema esculentum. Drought-resistant bean from Kalahari desert; roast in the shell to get a hickory-smoked cashew taste. (EDN 42-2).
• Moth bean. Vigna acontifolia. Yellow brown-annual vine; small seeds; mat-like growth that protects soil surface; adapted to poor soils but needs good drainage; needs short days; highly drought tolerant; 22-24% protein.
• Mung bean (Green gram). Phaseolus aureus. Early-maturing bush or slightly vine-like herb; high-yielding, widely adaptable.
• Nuna (Popping bean). Phaseolus vulgaris. Requires short days to flower.(EDN 29-1).
• Pigeon pea. Cajanus cajan Khaki-indeterminate, large seeds, from Puerto Rico. 2-B Bush-determinate, from Puerto Rico. Peruvian. Black-seeded. Martha White/Goya. Short duration. Gray. (EDN 29-4,5, 38-6).
• Rice bean. Vigna umbellata. Slender twining vine; drought resistant; needs well-drained soils; intercropped, often with rice.
• Soybean Glycine max.Duocrop-tropical. Braxton and Wright-temperate. Davis-subtropical. (EDN 15-2, 24-3, 25-5). Temporarily out of stock.
• Tarwi.Lupinus mutabilis. High in protein and oil, does well on marginal soils. High altitude crop; does not produce seed in Florida. (EDN 29-1).
• Tepary bean. Phaseolus acutifolius. Intolerant of frost and standing water; requires low humidity; very drought tolerant; yields variable and generally low. Only virus-free seed is sent overseas. Also may select a disease-resistant variety trial; select best colors for your area: white, black, yellow/tan, gray, red speckled (EDN 2-2, 11-3, 34-6). Note: many people groups are particular in what color of bean they will eat.
• Urd bean, yellow. Phaseolus mungo. Also called black gram; differs from mung bean in that urd beans have erect pods, longer hairs and longer seeds; more drought resistant than mung beans.
• Velvet bean. Mucuna deeringiana. All varieties vigorous, somewhat drought tolerant; good green manures; beans used in various recipes, or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute, although they may be dangerous to eat. Tropical-requires short days (long nights) for flowering and pod production. 90-day-day length neutral, but less vigorous than the tropical type; has irritating hairs, so cover arms during harvest. NOTE: IT MAY NOT BE SAFE TO EAT THE BEANS, THOUGH SOME DO. EXERCISE CAUTION AND WATCH FOR ANY SIDE EFFECTS. (EDN 20-3, 24-4,5,6, 31-6, 37-1,2, 43-5).
• Winged bean.Psophocarpus tetragonolubus Request TN for cooking information. See under Leguminous Vegetables.
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