Vigna mungo, or black gram, black lentil, mungo bean, and black matpe bean, was once considered to belong to the same species as the mung bean. White Lentils are actually the interior of the whole black lentil (Vigna mungo), or urad bean. Black lentils originat-ed in India, where they have been in cultivation since ancient times and continue to be one of the most highly prized pulses of the subcontinent. The dehusked seed is boiled and eaten whole or split.
Vigna mungo is an erect, fast-growing annual, herbaceous legume reaching 30-100 cm in height. It has a well-developed taproot and its stems are diffusely branched from the base, with an occasional twining habit. The fruit is a cylindrical, erect pod, 4-7 cm long x 0.5 cm broad. The pod is hairy and has a short hooked beak. It contains 4-10 ellipsoid black or mottled seeds.