Did you know that moth beans, or Matki, have 343 calories per 100g and 23g of protein?1 These beans are popular in India. They are usually eaten sprouted or cooked. Moth beans come from India. They are grown on plants that can creep up to 40 cm high. The plants have yellow flowers that turn into yellow-brown pods. These pods are about 2 to 3 inches long.1

Moth beans thrive in low water areas and prevent soil erosion.1 They are mainly grown in India but are also found in Africa, Australia, the United States, and Thailand. People use them as food and for animal feed.

Key Takeaways

  • Moth beans, or Matki, are a highly nutritious legume rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • They are a versatile ingredient used in various Indian and international cuisines.
  • Moth beans offer a range of health benefits, from supporting bone health to boosting immunity and aiding in weight management.
  • Sprouting moth beans enhances their nutritional value, making them a recommended addition to the diet.
  • Moth beans can be prepared in various ways, including soaking, parboiling, and pressure cooking.

Introduction to Moth Beans

Moth beans are often called Matki or Turkish gram. They are popular in Indian cuisine.1 These beans are small and oblong. They come in brown, reddish-brown, and green. Their scientific name is Vigna aconitifolia.

What are Moth Beans?

Moth beans are packed with nutrients. They offer protein, potassium, iron, and magnesium.2 They are a key ingredient in many Indian recipes. They enhance flavor and add nutrition to meals.

Origins and Cultivation

In India, moth beans are a traditional crop. They are a low, spreading plant that reaches 40 cm in height.1 These plants bear yellow flowers, turning into yellow-brown pods. The pods are about 2 to 3 inches long. Being drought-resistant, they are ideal for regions with little rain. They also protect the soil from erosion.

Vernacular Names

Across India, moth beans go by different names. In Tamil, they are known as Payaru. Kunkumapesalu is their name in Telugu. In Bengali, they are called Vanmug, and in Kannada, Madaki. Hindi speakers call them Mot.

Nutritional Value of Moth Beans

Nutritional values of moth beans

Moth beans are packed with good stuff – 343 calories in 100g. You get 23g of protein in each serving. Also, there are 62g carbs and 1.6g fat in them. Plus, they hold lots of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and more.1

Macro and Micronutrients

Per 100g, moth beans give you 343 kcal. They contain 22.4% carbs and 45.8% protein.3 They’re full of essential minerals too. For example, they have 90.7% of your daily magnesium needs, and more.3 These beans are a top source of folate too, offering 649 mcg in 100 grams. This is about 169.8% of what you need daily.3

Protein and Fiber Content

Looking for protein? Moth beans have 22.9g in every 100g.1 They’re also high in fiber, showing 15.12 grams in that same 100-gram serving. That’s over half the fiber you should get in a day.3

moth beans, Matki in Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Names and Properties

In Ayurvedic medicine, moth beans go by many names like Makushta, Vanamudga, Makushtaka, or Mukushtaka. They are said to have a sweet taste and are absorbent.4 They are easy to digest but may lead to constipation.4

Ayurvedic texts explain that moth beans can increase the Vata dosha. Yet, they help balance the Kapha and Pitta doshas.4

Preparing Moth Beans

Moth beans can be tricky to cook. It’s best to soak them for at least 6 hours or overnight before cooking.5 You can cook them using two common methods: parboiled or fully boiled. In the parboiled method, soak the beans, then boil them briefly to enhance taste and make cooking easier. Alternatively, fully boil them by pressure-cooking up to 5 whistles.2

Soaking and Cooking Methods

Choosing the parboiled method is common in many recipes. This way, the dish becomes tastier and simpler to prepare.5 Another use for these beans is making flour. Simply roast the soaked beans, then grind them into a coarse powder or paste.2

Parboiling and Making Flour

Start by soaking the beans for 2-4 hours or overnight. The recommended cooking time in an instant pot for soaked beans is 8 minutes; for unsoaked, it’s 13-15 minutes. On a stovetop pressure cooker, aim for 5-6 whistles over medium heat.5 After cooking, moth dal can last 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw the frozen dal in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours. Then, heat it on the stovetop.5

The recipe details the nutritional content per serving, like calories and macronutrients.5 Common spices for flavoring are turmeric, red chili powder, coriander, and garam masala. The recipe highlights adding garam masala and lime juice at key times to enhance taste.5 Cooking instructions include using an instant pot in sauté mode. They cover steps for adding spices, vegetables, and soaked beans as you cook.5

Health Benefits of Moth Beans

Moth beans are packed with nutrition, offering many health perks. They are high in calcium and phosphorus. This makes them great for keeping bones strong and warding off osteoporosis.1 Moth beans have vital nutrients that boost bone strength and ward off diseases.

Boosting Immunity

Moth beans are a rich source of zinc which is key for a strong immune system. Including them in your diet can help your body fight off germs. This supports your immune system against sickness.1

Weight Management

Being a source of plant protein, moth beans are good for weight loss. Their protein helps in muscle repair and maintains a healthy weight. This all is done without affecting your health and energy.1

Digestive Health

Moth beans offer dietary fiber which is good for the gut. It helps control bowel movements and stops constipation. The fiber also detoxifies the body, leading to a healthier digestive system.1

Stress Relief

Zinc in moth beans might lower stress and anxiety. Add them to your diet if you’re tackling stress-related issues.1

Vitamin B Complex

Moth beans are rich in B-complex vitamins like thiamine (B1) and niacin (B3). These are key for brain function, energy, and cell development.1

Heart Health

The fiber and nutrients in moth beans are good for the heart. They can cut cholesterol and keep blood pressure in check. This lowers the threat of heart issues.1

Moth Beans for Skin Care

moth beans

Vigna aconitifolia, or moth beans, are gaining fame for their skin perks.1 Their extract acts like a natural retinol. It dives into the skin, boosts collagen, and shields against damage from radicals and UV rays.

Vigna aconitifolia Extract

The Vigna aconitifolia extract has goodies like caffeic acid and kaempferol.1 These are top-notch antioxidants. They help fight off aging, lessen wrinkles, and keep your skin healthy overall.

Anti-Aging Properties

The extract from Vigna aconitifolia is loaded with antioxidants too.1 This feature is key for wrinkle fighting, age defense, and general skin well-being.

Sprouting Moth Beans

Sprouting moth beans boosts their health benefits. They become a great part of your diet.6 Sprouted beans are full of vitamins and minerals. The body can easily use these nutrients.6

Start sprouting moth beans by washing and soaking them. Do this for 6-8 hours or overnight.6 After soaking, drain the beans. Put them in a clean cloth and keep in a warm, airy spot. They will start to sprout.6 When the sprouts appear, keep them in a closed container. You can eat them raw or cook them in dishes.

Benefits of Sprouting

6 Sprouting takes 2 to 3 days but is easy to do at home. It makes the beans better for you. They have more protein, folate, and are easier to digest.6 After soaking, place the beans in a cool, dry spot for days. They grow larger and healthier.6 You can keep sprouted beans in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.6

Sprouting Method

6 In Indian cooking, Moth, Mung, and Masoor beans are a common choice. You can find them at Indian stores, whole food markets, or online.6 When sprouting in an Instant Pot, don’t add water in the main pot. This avoids sticky beans and aids in good sprouting.6 Depending on the season, beans can sprout in different times. In the summer, they might take less time than in the winter.6 Use sprouted beans in recipes like curries, salads, and stir-fries. They add nutrition and variety to your food.6

Culinary Uses of Moth Beans

Moth beans play a big role in many Indian dishes. They are part of the Matki dal, a lentil-based meal. They are also found in Misal Pav and Usal, known in Maharashtra.7Sprouted moth beans are often put in salads and stir-fries by Indian families.

These beans are not just for Indian food. Moth bean soup is a hit in Europe and North America.5 They work well in soups, stews, and other tasty meals as a good protein source.

Indian Cuisine Dishes

7 Moth beans are a key player in many Indian foods. You can find them in Matki dal, Misal Pav, and Usal.7 Indian homes often add sprouted moth beans to their dishes.

International Cuisine Dishes

They’re also enjoyed in dishes from around the world. Moth bean soup is loved in Europe and North America.5 These beans add protein and flavor to soups and stews.

Moth Bean Recipes

Matki Pulao

Matki Pulao is a tasty dish from India. It’s made with sprouted moth beans, cooked rice, and lots of spices and veggies.5 To cook it, fry onions, green capsicum, and spices. Then mix in sprouted moth beans and rice. Let it all simmer to make a yummy and healthy pulao.

Moth Beans and Methi Sabji

Moth Beans and Methi Sabji is another favorite. This dish mixes the slightly bitter methi leaves with protein-rich moth beans.8 To make it, cook onions, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, and spices first. Then, add boiled moth beans and methi leaves. Let them blend together to create a tasty sabji.

Moth Bean Lentil Curry

Moth Bean Lentil Curry, or Moth Dal, highlights the moth bean’s flavor.59 The recipe starts by soaking moth dal overnight, then cooking it with onions, tomatoes, and spices. This makes a nutritious and delicious curry.

Comparison with Moong Beans

Moth beans (matki) and moong beans (green gram) come from the same family but are quite different. Moong beans are green, while moth beans can be brown, reddish-brown, or green.1 Moong beans cook faster than moth beans after they soak.

Both beans are rich in protein, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. They are great for your health when part of a balanced diet.


Moth beans, or matki, are not well known in the Western world. These tiny, oblong-shaped beans are very popular in India. They bring many health benefits such as strong bones1 and a better immune system1. They also help with weight and keep your heart healthy1. Moth beans have a special taste and texture. You can use them in many dishes, from main courses to sweets. They even help keep your skin healthy1.

These beans are full of good nutrients. Each 100 grams has 343 calories, 23 grams of protein, 62 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.6 grams of fat1. They also have important vitamins and minerals. Your body needs these for good health. Vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and minerals like iron and zinc are in moth beans1. Adding moth beans to your diet makes meals tasty and healthy.

Learning to use moth beans can lead to many cooking adventures. They fit well in both regular dishes and sweets. They can even be part of skincare products. So, moth beans are a special type of legume. They should have a bigger role in Western meals.

Source Links

  1. https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/matki-moth-bean-health-benefits-nutrition-and-recipes
  2. https://inspiresn.com/2017/04/04/moth-bean-lentils-matki-or-moth-dal/
  3. https://www.nutritionadvance.com/moth-beans-nutrition/
  4. https://www.easyayurveda.com/2019/10/24/moth-bean-vanmudga/
  5. https://www.spiceupthecurry.com/moth-beans-recipe-matki-recipe/
  6. https://ministryofcurry.com/how-to-sprout-beans/
  7. https://m.tarladalal.com/glossary-matki-moth-beans-moth-415i
  8. https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/matki-amti-recipe-amti-recipes/
  9. https://pipingpotcurry.com/moth-dal-matki-curry/

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