Red gram is an important pulse crop in India. It is also known as or Arhar or Tuvar. Red gram is mainly cultivated and consumed in developing countries of the world. This crop is widely grown in India. India is the largest producer and consumer of Red gram in the world. Red gram accounted for about 20 percent of the total pulse production of the country during the year 2000-2001.
Red gram is a protein rich staple food. It contains about 22 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals. Red gram supplies a major share of protein requirement of vegetarian population of the country. Red gram is mainly consumed in the form of split pulse as Dal, which is an essential supplement of cereal based diet. The combination of dal-chawal (pulse-rice) or dal-roti (pulse-wheat bread) is an important ingredient in the average Indian diet. The biological value improves greatly, when wheat or rice is combined with Red gram because of the complementary relationship of the essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in lysine, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and iron.
In India, split red gram also called Togari bele in Kannada and Tuvaram paruppu in Tamil are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as a vegetable in dishes such as sambar. In Ethiopia, not only the pods, but also the young shoots and leaves are cooked and eaten.
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