During my younger days, my mother used to feed me dishes which had green gram as a major ingredient. She used to say that eating these food kept one healthy and resistant to common ailments. I would have appreciated what she told, much better, if I was aware of the health giving qualities of this wonderful pulse which formed an essential ingredient in all her dishes.
Green gram arose in North-eastern India and there is a long history of its use throughout Asia. Its popularity stems not just from its medicinal and nutritional properties, but also from its adaptability to drought conditions and inferior soils. The nitrogen fixing bacteria in the plant's root help replenish the nitrogen content of the soil, which makes it a valuable inter-crop in rice and sugar cane cultivation.Nutritional value of Green Gram (Per 100 grams)
Energy : 30 caloriesHealth benefits
Protein : 3 grams
Carbohydrate : 6 grams
Dietary Fiber : 2 grams
Unlike other pulses, green gram is free of flatulence-causing agents. This makes it an acceptable food for convalescents and pleasant weaning food for babies. The protein is especially rich in the amino acid, lysine, but it is somewhat deficient in sulphur-containing amino acids. The seeds are rich in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folate and other B Vitamins. They also contain appreciable amounts of Vitamin C.
Raw seeds are rich in trypsin-inhibitors that block the effects of protein digesting enzymes in the gut. Sprouted green gram has lower amounts of these inhibitors, but the best method to eliminate trypsin inhibitors is boiling. Cooking does not affect the protein profile of this seed.Food Uses
Green gram's use in creating dishes is widely prevalent all over India. It is eaither used whole or split into dal. Whole green gram is the most popular sprout worldwide. Green gram in its split form is used to make khichdi, dal, barfi, payasam (a sweet dish) and other sweets. Deep fried and salted moong dal (green gram) is a popular Indian snack. Processed green gram is a common soup base, and gram flour is a common ingredient in many fried snacks.Medicinal Uses
Chinese medicine uses green gram as a remedy for oedema, fever, headache and generalised anxiety, and as a diuretic. It is also a folk remedy for arsenic poisoning and other mineral toxins.