Botanically, the beans belong to the vine (twirling) variety in the Fabaceae family, and the genus: Lablab.
Scientific name: Lablab purpureus.
They are also recognized by dolichos bean, seim bean (India), Egyptian bean, bonavist bean/pea, dolico lablab, fagiolo indiano, etc.
|Hyacinth (Lablab) beans.|
The lablab bean is a variety of annual, Dolichos beans. The black-eyed peas and yard-long beans are other close relatives. Hyacinth is a tropical perennial twining plant that requires a trellis to support its growth. It continues to grow as a short-term perennial as long as moisture and weather permits.
Purple/white flowers appear in clusters that develop into flat, thick, slightly curved green pods with pointing ends. Each pod normally contains two to six round or oval, light green, cream, black, brown, or mottled seeds. The seeds also exhibit prominent white hilum, usually covering one-third of the seed.
Fresh lablab beans are harvested while unripe and used in the same way as green beans.
Dried seeds can be used in the same way as other legumes, which it can replace in many other recipes.
Raw, immature hyacinth pods carry just 46 calories per 100 g; whereas, dry mature seeds contain 344 calories.
Dry hyacinth beans contain 23.90 g or 44% of recommended daily allowance of protein.
Dry lablab beans indeed are very good sources of dietary fiber among pole beans. 100 g dry beans carry 25.6 g or 64% of DV of fiber. Dietary fiber works as a bulk laxative that helps to protect the colon mucosa by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
Dietary fiber has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing the reabsorption of cholesterol-binding bile acids in the colon.
Hyacinth beans are gluten-free food products. They often recommended as alternative gluten-free protein food in gluten-allergy and celiac disease patients.
Dry hyacinth beans are one of the finest sources of several B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folates, and niacin. Most of these vitamins work as co-factors for the enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
Dry hyacinth beans hold 1.130 mg of thiamin (94% of DV). Thiamin is chiefly involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Its deficiency may lead to Beriberi disease.
Fresh, immature pods carry very good levels of vitamin-A, and K. 100 g of fresh pods carry 864 IU (29% of DV) of vitamin-A. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps in mucosal regeneration and maintenance.
Fresh pods are also excellent sources of vitamin C. 100 g fresh pods contain 12.6 mg (21% of DV). Vitamin C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant and helps in wound healing and tissue repair.
Dry lablab beans are an excellent source of minerals. 100 g of dry beans hold copper-148% calcium-13%, iron-64%, magnesium-71%, manganese-68%, phosphorus-53% and zinc-84%.
100 g of beans hold 1235 mg or 26% potassium. Potassium is an essential electrolyte of cells and body fluids, which helps to counter the pressing effects of sodium on heart and blood pressure.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percent of RDA|
|Total Fat||1.69 g||8.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||25.6 g||67%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
In many Asian households, tender, immature, whole lablab beans are most often used in cooking. Fresh beans can be readily available in the local markets all over topical countries.
Choose fresh, tender, immature beans for use as vegetables. Avoid shriveled, broken, cut, and bruised beans as they are less appetizing and spoil early. To store, place them in the refrigerators like French beans for extended use.
Wash the beans in cold water to remove any surface dirt. Trim the ends and remove any string that comes along easily while pulling off the trim ends. Cut them into equal sections for even cooking.
Dry beans are treated like other dry beans. Soak them in cold water for 6-8 hours. Soaking and boiling also help eliminate anti-nutritional compounds and reduce flatulence.
Here are some serving tips:
Fresh beans used in stir-fries, stews; and baked, in salads.
Che dau van is a favorite Vietnamese bean dessert prepared with boiled hyacinth beans, sugar and coconut milk.
Whole immature pods popular as Chapparada avarekayi (trellising lablab pole bean) in Kannada (South India), the beans used in the delicious curry preparation served with rice.
Hyacinth beans should only be consumed after thorough cooking. Raw beans contain cyanogenic glycosides which can cause a release of cyanide gas and toxicity.
Cooking eliminates toxic substances and makes them safe for consumption. (Medical disclaimer).
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Hyacinth mature seeds-USDA National Nutrient Database.
Raw, immature pods-USDA National Nutrient Database.