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Cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba)

This annual herb grows 1-2 meters high. The green bean pods can be consumed boiled, stir-fried or dried.

Cluster bean flowers.

Cluster bean flowers.

Common Names
Cluster bean, guar, guar bean (En); cyamopse à quatre ailes (Fr); goma de guar (Sp); 穗豆, 印度扁豆 (Cn)

Plant Distribution
South Asia

Edible Parts
Leaves are used boiled or stir-fried; green pods used boiled, stir-fried, or dried for storage; dry seeds processed for gum as thickener.

Health Values
Beta-carotene: low in green pods; vitamin E: low in green pods; folic acid: high in green pods; ascorbic acid: high in green pods; calcium: extremely high in leaves, low in green pods; iron: medium in green pods; protein: 2.5-3.0% in leaves and green pods. Leaves contain also galactomannan, and dry seeds trypsin inhibitor.

Read more: Cluster bean, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.