is commonly called ricebean or rice bean. To date, it is little known, little researched and little exploited. It is regarded as a minor food and fodder crop and is often grown as intercrop or mixed crop with maize, sorghum or cowpea, as well as a sole crop in the uplands, on a very limited area. Like the other Asiatic Vigna species, ricebean is a fairly short-lived warm-season annual. Grown mainly as a dried pulse, it is also important as a fodder, a green manure and a vegetable. Ricebean is most widely grown as an intercrop, particularly of maize, throughout Indo-China and extending into southern China. In the past it was widely grown as lowland crop on residual soil water after the harvest of long-season rice, but it has been displaced to a great extent where shorter duration rice varieties are grown. Ricebean grows well on a range of soils. It establishes rapidly and has the potential to produce large amounts of nutritious animal fodder and high quality grain.
Ricebean is most often served as a dal, either soaked overnight and boiled with a few spices, or cooked in a pressure cooker. Apart from various recipes for dal soups and sauces, pulses are also used in a number of other ways, either whole, cooked or roasted, as flour, or ground to make various deep fried dishes or snacks. Some recipes are specific to particular pulses, but many are open to substitution. The consumption of green pods as a vegetable has been recorded but is not widespread, although the indeterminate growth habit of many varieties is beneficial in providing a steady supply of green pods over long periods of the year.