Pulses play a vital role in Indian cuisine, providing a rich source of plant-based proteins, essential nutrients, and dietary fibre. Pulses are an important crop grown in India. It accounts for a large share of agriculture exports and hence, also result in earning valuable foreign exchange. India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. The diverse agro-climatic conditions of the country allow the cultivation of a wide variety of pulses. This blog will reveal the different types of pulses grown in India, providing a comprehensive list of pulses in India.
India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. Major pulses grown in India includes Chickpeas (chana/gram), Pigeon pea (arhar/tur), Mungbeans, Urdbeans (blackgram), and Masur (lentils), among others.
Rajasthan with an annual production of 4821 tonnes in 2020-21 is the largest producer of pulses in India. It is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, at second, third, and fourth position, respectively.
The other regions in India with high productivity of pulses are Karnataka, Gujarat, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and delta regions of West Bengal.
Pulses are a healthy and affordable food for people of all ages. They are an effective source of fibre, protein, and other key nutrients. Pulses can be used in various dishes. This makes them a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. The following are the essential health benefits of different types of pulses in India:
Pulses are considered a good protein source, essential for building and repairing tissues of your body. They provide a high-quality protein that helps build and repair tissues, promotes muscle strength, and supports overall growth and development. Rajasthan is the largest pulses producing state in India.
Different types of pulses in India are rich in fiber. Fiber is essential for the good digestive health of consumers and can help regulate their blood sugar levels. You will get iron in sufficient quantities by eating different pulses. Iron helps in carrying oxygen in the blood. Pulses are also rich in folate. Folate is essential for pregnant women and can help to prevent birth defects.
Pulses have a high satiety factor due to their fibre and protein content. They assist in keeping you feeling full for longer, reducing the urge to overeat and aiding in weight management. Pulses are also generally low in fat as well as calories. They make them a healthy choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.
Pulses are not only rich in protein but also contain a good balance of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They provide essential nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, which are vital for maintaining optimal health and preventing nutrient deficiencies.
Pulses are known to have a low glycemic index. It means they slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in better blood sugar control. They are an excellent food choice for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage blood sugar levels.
Different types of pulses grown in India are listed in the upcoming sections. The given pulses list includes Tur, Urad, Chana, Moong, and Masur, among others.
Tur dal is also known as Arhar or Pigeon Pea. It is the most common pulses consumed in India. Of the total production of pulses in India, tur dal accounts for almost 50 per cent. It is mainly grown in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, among others.
It is rich in valuable nutrients and is generally used to prepare dal, sambar, and other dishes. One can easily find this pulse in local grocery stores and at affordable prices.
In addition, it makes a highly delicious curry so that you can make it an important part of your diet. In terms of nutrition, this dal is rich in vitamins, including B, K, E & C, and folic acids. Some of the popular recipes made using Tur dal are Tur dal curry and dal rasam.
Black gram, also called Urad dal or Urdbean, is a black-skinned pulse used to make popular dishes like dal makhani. It accounts for 20 per cent of total production of pulses in India. The states of India where it is grown includes Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, among others.
Urad is rich in protein and iron, making it ideal for a balanced meal. Its rich flavour, creamy texture, and health benefits make it a popular choice in both savoury and sweet dishes. Whether in dal preparations, breakfast items, or festive sweets, urad dal continues to be an integral part of Indian culinary traditions.
Chickpeas, also known as Bengal gram, are amongst the most popular pulses on the pulses list. They come in two main varieties: Kabuli chickpeas, which are larger and cream-coloured, and Desi chickpeas, which are smaller and darker in colour. Chickpeas are used to make delicious dishes like chana masala.
Chana Dal accounts for approximately 13 per cent of total pulses production in the country. The major states producing Chickpeas are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, among others.
From a nutritional standpoint, chana dal is highly nutritious and offers several health benefits. This pulse is also found to be rich in dietary fiber that helps in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps maintain a good digestive system. This dal is also used as a filling in various savoury snacks like samosas and kachoris.
Moong dal is made from split green gram and is commonly used to prepare dal, khichdi, and other dishes. It is a huge part of Indian cuisine and holds a distinct place in the hearts of many households.
It accounts for 5 per cent of overall production of pulses in the country. The major states growing Mung dal are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, among others.
Moong dal is a key ingredient in various traditional and regional dishes across India. For example, it is used to make popular dishes like moong dal tadka, moong dal khichdi, moong dal halwa, and moong dal dosa. Every region has developed its own method of making moong dal dishes, adding regional flavours and spices.
Lentils are small, lens-shaped pulses in various colours, such as red, yellow, and black. Red lentils, also known as masoor dal, are commonly used in Indian cuisine to make soups and curries. Yellow and black lentils are also popular in specific regional dishes. Masoor dal has a rich nutritional profile, that makes it a healthy addition to a balanced diet and pulses list.
It accounts for about 7 per cent of total pulses production in India. The major lentil producing states in the country are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar, among others.
Masoor dal tadka is commonly enjoyed with rice or Indian bread. Another popular dish is masoor dal curry, where the lentils are cooked with a blend of spices, onions, tomatoes, and sometimes coconut milk for a creamy texture. This curry is often served with roti, naan, or rice and makes for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Kidney beans, or rajma, are dark red beans of the pulses list that are widely used in North Indian cuisine. They are often cooked in a thick, spicy gravy and served with rice. This pulse is often used in the making of rajma chawal, a popular dish in North India. The combination of kidney beans and lentils, along with aromatic spices, creates a flavourful and nutritious dal.
Whether enjoyed with rice or bread, rajma dal is a wholesome meal that exemplifies the rich culinary traditions of India. In addition to its delicious taste, rajma dal also offers several health benefits. They can be consumed to gain plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and nutrients like iron and potassium. In addition, this dal from the pulses list is low in fat and cholesterol.
In conclusion, including a variety of pulses in your diet provides a host of benefits, ranging from improved nutrition and heart health to weight management and sustainable agriculture. If you wonder which is the largest pulses producing state in India, the answer is Rajasthan. Embracing the diverse range of pulses available in the pulses list allows you to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while supporting your overall well-being. If you are looking to add different pulses to your diet, this list of pulses in India provides a good starting point.
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