Popular in India and Brazil, this herbaceous annual plant ranges from 20-90 cm in height and produces fuzzy pods 4-7 cm long. There can be 4-10 seeds in each pod: small, oval, slightly kidney-shaped, somewhat square at the ends and, as their name indicates, usually black, although there are also gray, green, brown varieties, etc.
In flavor and texture, they're tender with a slight mushroomy note.
In Asia, they're a staple in black bean sauce
They require 1 1/2 to 2 hours cooking in boiling water. Don't be surprised by the black color of the water!
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