Classification. Variety of pulses recognizes 11 primary pulses.

1.Dry beans (Phaseolus spp. including several species now in Vigna)
- Kidney bean, haricot bean, pinto bean, navy bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
- Lima bean, butter bean (Phaseolus lunatus)
- Azuki bean, adzuki bean (Vigna angularis)
- Mung bean, golden gram, green gram (Vigna radiata)
- Black gram, Urad (Vigna mungo)
- Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
- Ricebean (Vigna umbellata)
- Moth bean (Vigna acontifolia)
- Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius)

2.Dry broad beans (Vicia faba)
- Horse bean (Vicia faba equina)
- Broad bean (Vicia faba)
- Field bean (Vicia faba)

3.Dry peas (Pisum spp.)
- Garden pea (Pisum sativum var. sativum)
- Protein pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense)

4.Chickpea, Garbanzo, Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum)
5.Dry cowpea, Black-eyed pea, blackeye bean (Vigna unguiculata )
6.Pigeon pea, Arhar /Toor, cajan pea, congo bean (Cajanus cajan)
7.Lentil (Lens culinaris)
8.Bambara groundnut, earth pea (Vigna subterranea)
9.Vetch, common vetch (Vicia sativa)
10.Lupins (Lupinus spp.)

11.Minor pulses include:
- Lablab, hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus)
- Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), sword bean (Canavalia gladiata)
- Winged bean (Psophocarpus teragonolobus)
- Velvet bean, cowitch (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis)
- Yam bean (Pachyrrizus erosus)

Protein content
Pulses are 20 to 25% protein by weight, which is double the protein content of wheat and three times that of rice. For this reason, pulses are called vegetarian's meat. While pulses are generally high in protein, and the digestibility of that protein is also high, they often are relatively poor in the essential amino acid methionine, although Indian cuisine includes sesame seeds, which contain high levels of methionine. Grains (which are themselves deficient in lysine) are commonly consumed along with pulses to form a complete protein diet.

A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve grains or seeds of variable size, shape, and colour within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term pulse, as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry grain. This excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are crops that are mainly grown for oil extraction (oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts), and crops which are used exclusively for sowing (clovers, alfalfa). However, many of the varieties so classified and given below are also used as vegetables, with their beans in pods while young cooked in whole cuisines and sold for the purpose; for example black eyed beans, lima beans and Toor or pigeon peas are thus eaten as fresh green beans cooked as part of a meal. Pulses are important food crops due to their high protein and essential amino acid content. Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen.

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