Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Purple Hyacinth Bean

I love to grow vegetables and flowering plants around the house. 
But gardening don't love me, I guess I don't have the so called Green Thumb. 
I am just lucky enough to have parents who does have Green Thumbs, so we have lots of plants at home. So whenever we want to cook some veggies or we want to eat some fruits, we can just get it in our yard :) Organic and Pesticide Free!!!

My son (raising both arms) and my nephew picking Water Apple (some call it Java Apple or Watery Rose Apple). In our native language (Bisaya), we call it Tambis. We have green, white, green-pink and the common pink Tambis in our yard.

Among other plants, what caught my attention (I seldom (or never, hehehe) go to the garden, so it really caught my attention) was this purple bean. If you are a close friend of mine, you will know the reason why. Ok I'll tell you the obvious reason, it's PURPLE, and it's my very favorite color, hehehe.

I asked my parents about it, and they don't know about this bean, even the name. They just bought the seed from the supermarket, planted and vines grew so fast. Then came the purple flowers and then came the purple pods. It did not stop producing flowers and pods, so it's a beauty to see. :)

So I began to google about this!

The name is Purple Hyacinth Bean.

Info from Wikipedia

Lablab purpureus (syn. Dolichos lablab L., Dolichos purpureus L., L. niger Medikus, L. lablab (L.) Lyons, Vigna aristata Piper, and L. vulgaris (L.) Savi), commonly known as the hyacinth beanIndian bean,seim (Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago), Egyptian beannjahi (in the Kikuyu language of Kenya), bulay (Tagalog), bataw (Bisaya), or đậu ván (Vietnamese), a species of bean in the family Fabaceae, is widespread as a food crop throughout the tropics, especially in AfricaIndia and Indonesia. A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.It is called avarekaalu (Kannada) in Karnataka and it is very famous for its curry (avarekalu saaru), salad (avarekaalu usli), it is added for upma (avrekaalu uppittu), and for Akki rotti (flatbread made with rice flour) to make it more delicious. Sometimes the outer peel of the seed is taken out and the inner soft part is used for a variety of dishes. That form,hitakubele avarekalu, means pressed (hitaku) hyancinth bean. It is called avarai (அவரை) or mochai (மொச்சை - synonymous with அவரை) in Tamil. In western Maharashtra, especially Konkan region, these beans are grown as vaal (वाल).

The hyacinth bean grows as a vine, producing purple flowers and striking electric-purple coloured seed pods. Lablab bean is a good choice for a quick screen on a trellisor fence. It grows fast, has beautiful, fragrant flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and it even produces edible leaves, flowers, pods, seeds and roots. Dry seeds are poisonous due to high concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides, and can only be eaten after prolonged boiling.

It is often grown as forage and as an ornamental plant. In addition, this plant is also cited as a medicinal plant and a poisonous plant.

I am so glad I researched about this plant before this goes to our kitchen (As we commonly think that this is like a common bean, this can be eaten like one). Although this can be eaten, by boiling thoroughly, this still is poisonous.

Beautiful yet so dangerous.

On my next post, I would like to feature our PURPLE Sweetsop or Sugar Apple (Bisaya - "Atis").
It only bears fruit once a year between June and July, so I still have to wait :)

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