|Dry urad beans|
Vigna mungo, the black gram, urad bean, ulundu paruppu, minapa pappu, mungo bean or black matpe bean (māṣa) is a bean grown in the South Asia. Like its relative, the mung bean, it has been reclassified from the Phaseolus to the Vigna genus. The product sold as black lentil is usually the whole urad bean, whereas the split bean (the interior being white) is called white lentil. It should not be confused with the much smaller true black lentil (Lens culinaris).
Black gram originated in South Asia, where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It is very widely used in Indian cuisine. In India the Black gram is one of the important pulses grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. This crop is extensively grown in Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, and Villupuram districts of Tamilnadu. The Coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh is known for black gram. The Guntur District ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. In Nepal it is known as kalo maas daal or kalo daal (black legume) and it is a very popular daal (legume) side dish that goes with curry and rice as a platter. Black gram has also been introduced to other tropical areas such as the Caribbean, Fiji, Mauritius, Myanmar and Africa, mainly by Indian immigrants during the Indian indenture system.