Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lablab purpureus - Kacang komak


Kacang komak is the name the Indonesian workers called the rare purplish bean they sowed at the line site.

It is a vigour climber with trifoliate leaves.  Flowers in raceme, purplish-green in colour, resemble of yardlong beans ( Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis ).
Yet the fruit pods are somehow similar to semi-inflated green beans.

A check on Google shows that kacang komak is a variety of Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweets, a legume native to Africa, now widely cultivated throughout tropical region.

It is known by many names : Egyptian been, Hyacinth bean, Indian bean ; faselbohne, helmbohne, schlangenbohne, batao, wal,vaal, sem, lubia, fiwi, njahi in Africa ; batao in the Philippines ; avarai in India, etc.  Its synonyms include : Dolichos benghalensis Jacq. Dolichos lablab L. , Dolichos purpureus L. , Lablab niger Medikus , Lablab vulgaris (L.) Savi , Lablab lablab (L) Lyons,  Vigna aristata Piper.

Flowers, immature pods, seeds, leaves and root are used as vegetables.  Flowers are consumed raw or cooked in soups. Immature pods can be eaten raw or cooked.  Mature seeds must be thoroughly cooked.  The seeds can also made into tofu, tempe, or sprouted.  Leaves must be cooked before consuming.

It is also used as fodder for grazing, in soil conservation, as green manure and cover crop, and even as an ornament.







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