Lentil (also Masura) is commonly found in Uttar Pradesh
, Madhya Pradesh
, West Bengal
and to a smaller extent in Punjab
. 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.