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Lablab – Wikipedia

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**Botanical Description:**
– Lablab plant is highly variable due to extensive breeding.
– It is an annual or short-lived perennial vine with thick stems reaching up to 6m in length.
– Leaves consist of three pointed leaflets, each up to 15cm long.
– The fruit is a legume pod that varies in shape, size, and color.

**Classification and Variants:**
– Two cultivated subspecies: Lablab purpureus subsp. bengalensis and Lablab purpureus subsp. purpureus.
– One wild subspecies: Lablab purpureus subsp. uncinatus.
– A special variant with lobed leaflets found in Namibia.

**Culinary Uses:**
– Lablab beans are a traditional food source in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.
– They are used in various dishes, curries, and soups in different regions.
– Known as sheem in Bangladesh, used in curries in Gujarat, and as a main dish in Kenya.

**Nutritional and Medicinal Benefits:**
– Lablab beans are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
– They are low in fat and cholesterol, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.
– Studies suggest potential health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

**Agricultural and Societal Significance:**
– Lablab purpureus is native to Africa and widely cultivated in tropical regions.
– It is a valuable crop for smallholder farmers, known for improving soil fertility.
– Lablab beans can be used as animal feed and are drought-tolerant, contributing to food security efforts.

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