Also called Mat, Matki, or Turkish gram. A drought-resistant sprawling bean. small yellow flowers and deeply lobed leaves, grown especially in dry parts of South Asia for its tiny (3-4 mm) edible beans, which range in color from light brown to dark reddish brown.
The sprawling mat-forming plants do well in very hot weather (to 100-120° F), protect the soil, and smother weeds. The only crop to do well in drought-stricken Kenya. Excellent protective ground cover that also fixes nitrogen.
In the 1980's the US National Academy of Sciences identified moth beans as one of the food sources for the future, due to its drought and heat tolerance, as well as being an important source of proteins, vitamins (22-24%), and minerals. There are also anti-nutritional elements in the bean that are destroyed by sprouting for 24-48 hours and cooking. One major cosmetics firm finds useful beauty benefits in moth beans.
The sprouted beans taste somewhat sweet. Split beans, called dal, are boiled, parched, fried, or fermented into cakes and pancakes. Matki is very famous in Maharastrian cuisine. The beans are soaked overnight to make them sprout. These sprouted beans are used is various salads and dishes. Young tender pods are eaten fresh.
Vigna aconitifolia / W,H/Matures 12-14/Harvest Bean 8, Pods 8-12/Yield Bean 4-20, Green 90-200/Spacing 6"