1. Health & Lifestyle

World Pulses Day: Why You Must Add Protein-Rich Matki Dal to Your Diet?

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Matki dal or moth beans
Matki dal or Moth beans

Have you ever eaten Vigna aconitifolia? Before you raise your eyebrows in shock and say “no, I have not eaten such a thing,” relax and read further.

Vigna aconitifolia is nothing but Matki dal, also called moth beans, dew beans, Turkish gram, and mat beans!

Now you might be nodding your head, remembering the tasty snack of “dalmoth” that you often ate while traveling or chatting with friends or maybe during teatime.

In many Indian households, moth beans or matki dal is a part of the diet. It is usually cooked as dal.


Matkidal is one of the minor pulses. It is drought-resistant. Moth bean cultivation is done usually in arid and semi arid areas in India. The crop also serves as pasture legume.

The plant is a creeping annual herbaceous, growing to upto 40 cm in height. Its branches are densely packed and hairy with yellow flowers blossoming on them. They transform into 2-3 inches pods yellowish brown incolor. Seeds contained in the pods feature about 22-24% protein.

Moth bean crop is able to fight soil erosion. This quality, plus its drought resistance and high protein content, makes it an important source of food for the future.

Nutrition value

100 g of boiled moth beans contain:

  • Calories: 117

  • Protein: 8 g

  • Total fat: 0.6 g

  • Total carbs: 21 g

  • Sodium: 10 mg

  • Potassium: 304 mg

  • Vitamin B6: 5% of daily value

  • Vitamin C: 1% of daily value

  • Iron: 17% of daily value

  • Magnesium: 26% of daily value

(source: USDA)


Moth beans are commonly used as whole beans or split beans. In Maharashtra, many households cook a spicy stew using sprouted beans. The dish is known as matkiusal.

You can find packets of dry moth beans labeled as “dalmoth.” They serve as tasty dry snack.

Some households love to eat these beans as boiled and sauteed with chopped onions and tomatoes.

Dried beans are also used to make flour, which is then used to prepare “bhujia,” another tasty snack.

Moth beans is also used as forage crops for animals.

So, if you haven’t tried matki dal, time to add this nutritious dal to your diet. With World Pulses Day on February 10, it’s high time we looked upon minor pulses like moth beans. They not only add nutrition to our diet, but also add variety.

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