- A legume, Phaseolus mungo, grown mainly for its dry seeds (the young pods can be eaten as a vegetable), found in India and the Caribbean. The plant and pods are very hairy and look somewhat like the dwarf French bean. The small seeds are black or dark green with a white interior and prominent white hilum. They require long boiling and are very important in Indian cooking. It is one of the most expensive pulses but widely used. The ground bean is used in idlis, dosas and poppadoms.