Greenwood Banner Overlay

List of 30 Pulses in India with Pictures

Introduction

We often overlook at their existence in our dishes while we savor the whole, but has been a part of our diet for many years, these are ‘Pulses’. A pulse is defined as an edible seed from a legume plant. Pulses include beans, lentils, and peas that have various health benefits both for human and animal consumption. These edible seeds extend beyond small size and nutritional value, which we are going to explore further.

Here are the 30 pulses to include in your daily diet for diverse benefits.

List of 30 Pulses

  1. Lentils

These are widely consumed nutritious legumes globally. These are available in different colors offering unique texture and flavor. These are quick to cook, and high in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. These are economical and environmentally sustainable, forming part of varied cuisines as a mandatory staple. These are suitable for vegans and vegetarians offering a plant-based protein alternative. 

  1. Chickpeas

These are also known as garbanzo beans, belonging to the Fabaceae family, originating from the Middle East. These have been cultivated for thousands of years for their rich protein and fiber content. This is a versatile ingredient in various cuisines like salads, soups, and stews, and the main content to be found in hummus and falafel. The content offers varied benefits like regulating blood sugar levels and heart health. Their growth requires well-drained soil and warm temperatures. 

  1. Black peas

These are small and oval-shaped black beans, that belong to the legume family. These are rich in protein and fiber, and commonly used in many Indian cuisines. These provide a good source of rich content for vegans and vegetarians as an alternative. Contains antioxidants for many potential health benefits. The color and the taste offer a unique flavor and texture to many dishes. 

  1. Kidney beans

These are medium-sized, kidney-shaped, with a slight glossy skin and texture, available in various colors. These turn creamy and tender when cooked, and even when included in minimal portions in various dishes. These are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients. These must be cooked thoroughly to extract the rich content that supports heart health, provides sustainable energy, and aids digestion. These are mostly found in Latin American and Indian cuisines. 

  1. Pinto beans

These are medium-sized with a distinctive mottled appearance, a beige, and streaks of reddish-brown texture. These are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and various essential nutrients. These are widely used ingredients in varied cuisines to achieve a balanced diet. They contain a rich punch of folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium, contributing to cardiovascular health and overall well-being. These are staples in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines, used commonly in dishes like burritos, chili, and refried beans. 

  1. Mung beans

These are small, round, and green beans with a white interior texture. These are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins A, B, C, and E, and minerals like iron and potassium. These are widely used in Asian cuisine, and popular in salads and stir-fries. These are known to aid digestion, promote heart health, and support weight management. These grow in India, China, and Southeast Asia. These require low water and enhance soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. 

  1. Adzuki beans

These also known as red beans, appear small, red, and kidney-shaped. These beans have been cultivated for centuries mostly sprouting from Asian countries, particularly Japan and China. These are rich in protein, fiber, and various vitamins. Their sweet and nutty flavor adds a unique touch to savory dishes like soups, stews, desserts, and others. The warm texture and potential nutritional benefits fulfill a balanced diet, diversify your meals, and boost your overall health. 

  1. Black-eyed peas

These are a family of cowpeas or southern peas, that are small, oval-shaped legumes with a distinctive black spot on one side. These are rich in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients like folate, iron, nw, and potassium. These are often served with greens and cornbread for a traditional New Year’s dish symbolizing luck. It can cooked quickly for everyday meals. It supports digestive health, aids in weight management, and contributes to heart health. 

  1. Navy beans

These are also known as haricot or pea beans, small, oval-shaped, and white beans. These earned the name from the U.S. Navy, a staple in their rations. These are rich in protein, fiber, and minerals like manganese and phosphorus. Their creamy texture makes them ideal for mashing and pureeing in dishes like stews, soups, and many others. These are low in fat content and high in fiber, providing sustained energy. 

  1. Green peas

These are small, round, and vibrant green spheres enclosed in a pod. These are excellent sources of vitamins like K, C, and folate, as well as minerals such as iron and zinc. They are high in fiber helping in maintaining a healthy gut. They are known for their sweet and slightly starchy taste and can be added to the boiled, stir-fried, or added to stews. These are a seasonal delight often associated with spring and commonly found in farmers’ markets during this season. 

  1. Split peas (Yellow and green)

These are a type of legume derived from the dried, peeled, and split seeds of the field pea. These are available in yellow and green colors adding distinct texture. These are high in protein, fiber, and various vitamins. These are widely used in soups, stews, and curries. Their rich creamy texture absorbs different flavors well making them a convenient choice for various dishes. These are staple in varied cuisines across the globe  offering versatility and nutritional benefits. These promote heart health, aid digestion, and provides sustainable source of energy. 

  1. Fava beans

These are large, flat, and green pods with a firm texture, native to North Africa and Southwest Asia. They are rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients such as iron and folate. These are staple in varied cuisines, can be cooked in many ways like boiling, steaming, or incorporating into stews and soups. They are mild, buttery, and slight nutty in taste. These contribute for heart health and digestion. 

  1. Cow peas

These are also called Southern peas with many varieties within like crowder peas, cream peas, and black-eyed, originates from Africa. These are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These are versatile in various dishes, including soups, stews salads, and casseroles, contributing to the healthy and balanced diet. These are well-adapted to hot and arid climates, making them resilient in challenging agricultural conditions. These contain nitrogen fixing properties enhance soil fertility. Valued as a cash crop and livestock feed in many regions. 

  1. Lima peas

These are known as butter beans, belong to the legume family and are popular for their creamy texture. Lime peas come in 2 varieties, baby lima beans and fordhook lima beans with some difference in size. These are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients used in soups, stews, and side dishes. These are the excellent source of folate, iron, and potassium promoting cardiovascular health and supporting the immune system. These add nutritional value and a delightful taste to varied culinary platters. 

  1. Soybeans

These are versatile legumes and a key source of protein for both humans and animals. These are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals contributing to the overall balanced diet. These contain nine essential amino acids, valuable for vegetarians and vegans. These reduce the risk of heart disease, promote bone health, and manage cholesterol levels. They play a sustainable agricultural role in fixing nitrogen and enhancing its fertility. 

  1. Urad dal

These are also called as Black gram, small, black-skinned with white interior. These are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. These support digestion boost energy, and aid in muscle building. These can be adaptable to both traditional and modern cooking recipes. These form an integral part of Indian and South Asian culinary traditions for centuries. 

  1. Toor dal 

These are also called as Pigeon peas, a popular pulse in Indian cuisine. These are rich in protein, making it an essential ingredient in any vegetarian diet. These contain dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting gut health. Due to the iron content in it, they combat anemia promoting blood circulation. These are economically accessible, making them a staple in many households. 

  1. Beluga lentils 

These resemble caviar, small, glossy, and black lentils. These shiny lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients required for a balanced diet. They have a mild, earthy flavor, making them versatile in various culinary creations with a slightly nutty texture. Their nutritional profile supports heart health, aids digestion, and helps in managing blood sugar levels. 

  1. Masoor Dal

These are reddish-brown with an earthy texture and small in size. These are rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients for a healthy choice. These are low in fat, promote heart health due to low cholesterol content, and support digestion. These are used in all varied cuisines making them a staple ingredient in many households across the globe. They are economical and easily accessible in the markets. 

  1. Brown Chick Peas

Also known as ‘Kala Chana’ in Hindi, with its distinctive dark brown color, adds an earthy texture to the recipe. These are staples in various cuisines, providing a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Their high fiber content regulates blood sugar and promotes digestive health. These are easy to cultivate, making them economical and sustainable food sources.  

  1. Horse gram

These are commonly grown in the arid regions of India and Southeast Asia. This is a type of legume that is rich in protein, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients. These are known for their medicinal properties in traditional medicine for treating kidney stones and diabetes. Apart from human consumption, these are used as fodder for livestock. Acts as a good crop in helping the improvement of soil fertility due to its nitrogen-fixing abilities. These are commonly used in various culinary dishes, and a staple in many cuisines across the globe. 

  1. Rajma

These are also called as ‘Red Kidney Beans’, native to Central and South America. This is a popular and mandatory side dish in the Northern part of Indian cuisine. Rich in protein, fiber, and other essential minerals, contribute to a well-balanced diet. These are often soaked at night to soften enough to use in curries and stews. Its versatility is showcased in diverse recipes holding cultural importance and a symbol of comfortable food in many households. 

  1. Garbanzo beans

These are widely used in various cuisines across the globe like flour for making gluten-free recipes or besan in Indian Cuisine. There are varieties, Desi(small and dark) and Kabuli(larger and creamy). These are rich in protein and fiber, promoting digestion, and aiding weight management. The nitrogen-fixing quality not only helps in controlling blood sugar levels in humans but also helps with the fertility of the soil. These are useful in any culinary possibilities. 

  1. Cranberry beans

These are also known as Borlotti beans, originating from Italy. They are now cultivated across the world for their nutty flavor and creamy texture. These are reddish-brown, adding a visual presence to the dishes. These contribute to a well-balanced diet due to its rich protein and fiber content. They can be a part of a diverse plant-based diet with a rich source of folate, iron, and magnesium. 

  1. Vetches

These are a group of legumes known for their nutritional value and versatility. They are cultivated for both human and animal consumption. These come in various colors offering distinct texture to the cuisines. These are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, iron, and p potassium for a balanced diet. They have the quality to enhance the soil health making it resilient for sustainable agriculture. These offer a wide range of health benefits and ecological advantages. 

  1. Dried green peas 

belong to the pulse family used in various cuisines. These are harvested when mature, and the drying process removes their moisture content for preservation. Rich in protein and fiber, offers a nutritional and balanced diet. They are soaked before cooking to extract maximum nutrients from them. Their extended shelf life makes them a staple in many households. These are commonly used in soups, stews, and curries. 

  1. Dew gram

These are a type of horse gram that is drought-tolerant and nutrient-legume. These are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients such as iron and calcium. Their several benefits like weight management, diabetes, and improved digestion one encourages to add to one’s dietary profile. These can thrive in semi-arid water scarcity. 

  1. Sword bean

This is a tropical legume featuring long, flat, sword-shaped pods, hence the name. These are rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, contributing to a balanced diet. They can thrive in warm climates, making it suitable for tropical regions. These are believed to have medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory effects. They have nitrogen-fixing abilities that are valuable for crop rotation, aiding in sustainable agricultural practices. 

  1. Cannellini beans

These are small, white, and Kidney-shaped beans with a creamy and tender when cooked. These are popular in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines, and ideal for soups, stews, and casseroles. These are found in both canned and dried, offering convenience and flexibility in the kitchen. These are rich in protein, fiber, and various essential nutrients. These complement pairing with herbs, spices, and vegetables 

  1. Scarlet runner beans

As the name denotes, are vibrant, long, and flat beans with seeds that vary from purple to pink colors. Both the young pods and mature seeds offer a sightful flavor and texture to the cuisines. These are known to attract pollinators like bees with their vibrant blossoms. These are widely cultivated for both food and ornamental purposes. They enrich the soil with nitrogen for sustainability. 

Benefits and Importance of Pulses 

These not only play as dietary ingredients in the intake of various cuisines across the world but also play a crucial role in agriculture. Their importance can be discussed and realized based on the following benefits.

  • Pulses are an excellent plant-based protein source that is crucial for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Their protein-rich quality and high fiber content help in maintaining a healthy diet supporting weight management and digestion.
  • They are a rich pack of anti-oxidants that support heart health.
  • Rich minerals like folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium are available to be extracted by cooking them or including them in our daily recipes.
  • These contribute to lowering cholesterol levels to reduce heart diseases, and their glycemic index helps to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Pulses host nitrogen-fixing bacteria to enrich the soil health and fertility.
  • They require less water to grow compared to other protein sources.
  • Pulses are vital in crop rotation by breaking pest cycles and contributing to agricultural sustainability.
  • These are economically friendly and easily accessible becoming a major staple ingredient across the globe.

Conclusion

Well, many of you have been adding a few of these to your favorite cuisines, get through the guide of benefits and consciously include them in your dietary routines. For further clarifications based on your diet plan, consult a nutrition expert.

Faqs

1. Can I have a pulse daily?

Experts have reported that regular consumption can reduce the risk of heartaches, and control sugar levels, and certain types of cancer.

2. Are Fava beans and Chickpeas the same?

They look similar in some cases, but they are different. Fava beans have significantly more Vitamins A and C, while Chickpeas have significantly more Vitamins K.

3. Can we consume pulses without cooking?

Raw beans are not safe, as they contain compounds like lectins and phytic acid, which might be harmful to the digestive system. Cooking accordingly can break these compounds and all nutrients can be extracted contributing to a balanced diet.