Sometimes called "butter beans" because of their starchy yet buttery texture, lima beans have a delicate flavor that complements a wide variety of dishes. Although fresh lima beans are often difficult to find, they are worth looking for in the summer and fall when they are in season. Dried and canned lima beans are available throughout the year. The pod of the lima bean is flat, oblong and slightly curved, averaging about three inches in length. Within the pod are the two to four flat kidney-shaped seeds that we call lima beans. The seeds are generally cream or green in color, although certain varieties feature colors such as white, red, purple, brown or black.
Black Eye Beans
The black-eyed pea, also called black-eyed bean, ChawaLie, Lobia, etc. in various languages in India, is a subspecies of the cowpea, grown around the world for its medium-sized edible bean. The bean mutates easily, giving rise to a number of varieties. The common commercial one is called the California Blackeye; it is pale-colored with a prominent black spot. The currently accepted botanical name is Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata, although previously it was classified in the genus Phaseolus. Vigna unguiculata subsp. dekindtiana is the wild relative and Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis is the related asparagus bean. Other beans of somewhat similar appearance, such as the "frijol ojo de cabra" ("goat's eye bean") of northern Mexico, are sometimes incorrectly called "black-eyed peas" and vice versa.
Red Cow Beans
(Vigna Angularis) Also known as Adzuki (azuki) beans, red chori, and red cow peas. Chori beans are sweet and relatively easy to digest and don't take as long to cook. The adzuki is used in Asian cuisines in salads and even as a topping on shaved ice or ice cream.
White Kabuli Chana
Also known as Chole, Garbanzo Beans and Egyptian Peas, White Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana has a lovely nutty flavor. In India it is used to make curries, added to salads and even in dips. Kabuli Chana is especially popular in North India. It must be soaked for several hours before cooking as it is a "very hard" bean. You can also use canned Kabuli Chana which is easily avaible in supermarkets these days but nothing beats the taste of Kabuli Chana freshly soaked and boiled just before cooking.
Mung beans are among the smallest of beans. They are quite common in Asia, but are not usually sold in supermarkets in the United States. We purchase our mung beans from our coop, a health food store, or from a specialty food store. Sprouted mung beans are a common ingredient in many Chinese recipes. Mung beans are also used to make cellophane noodles. Whole mung beans can also be used in soup and other recipes. The actual size of the mung beans can be seen in the photo .
Scientific Name: Vigna radiata