Hyacinth Bean, also known as Bai Bian Dou or Lablab purpureus, is the seed of the fragrant hyacinth plant. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries in cooking for its taste and health benefits.
The Hyacinth beans are also known as Indian Beans, Calavance and Egyptian beans around the globe. Hyacinth bean plants are also planted as ornamental plants in some areas.
They are white in colour, with a hard texture and a slight odour. The seeds are usually dried and baked.
The hyacinth bean is used in curries, for adding flavour to rice dishes, especially used for preparing dishes like Akki Rotti in India. In some places, the flowers are also consumed directly.