iPhoneOgraphy – 08 Mar 2016 (Day 68/366)
The mung bean (Vigna radiata), alternatively known as the moong bean, green gram, is a plant species in the legume family. Native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in Indian, China, and Southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in hot, dry regions in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.
The English word mung is derived from the Hindi word मूंग moong derived from the Sanskrit word मुद्ग (mudga).
The mung bean was domesticated in Persia (Iran), where its progenitor (Vigna radiata subspecies sublobata) occurs wild. Archaeology has turned up carbonized mung beans on many sites in India. Areas with early finds include the eastern zone of the Harappan civilization in Punjab and Haryana, where finds date back about 4500 years, and South India in the modern state of Karnataka where finds date back more than 4000 years. Some scholars therefore infer two separate domestications in the northwest and south of India. In South India there is evidence for evolution of larger-seeded mung beans 3500 to 3000 years ago. By about 3500 years ago mung beans were widely cultivated throughout India. Cultivated mung beans later spread from India to China and Southeast Asia.
Archaeobotanical research at the site of Khao Sam Kaeo in southern Thailand indicates that mung beans had arrived in Thailand by at least 2200 years ago. Finds on Pemba Island indicate that during the era of Swahili trade, in the 9th or 10th century, mung beans also came to be cultivated in Africa,.