Lentil (also Masura) is commonly found in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and to a smaller extent in Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The lentil is a thin, semi-erect, annual legume, well adapted to semi-arid, cool conditions. They exhibit a wide range of variation in the colour of flowers and the type of pods and seeds. In India, about 66 pure types have been isolated from seeds. Lentils are a protein /energy pulse crop, protein ranging from 22 to 35 percent.

Lentils are a good animal feed supplement because of their high protein/carbohydrate content. For human consumption, lentils are used in soups, stews and salad dishes, but lentils produced in extremely dry conditions generate a hard seed coat which may make them difficult to cook. The seeds are prescribed to be a tonic and blood enriching. Lentils are also useful in treating many skin diseases.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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