The dried beans are boiled and are eaten whole or after splitting into dhal .They are parched and ground into flour after removal of the testa or the seed-coat. This flour is used in various Indian and Chinese dishes. The green pods are eaten as a vegetable. In China and the United States it is used of bean sprouts.
Red gram is a protein rich staple food. It contains about 22 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals. Red gram supplies a major share of protein requirement of vegetarian population of the country. Red gram is mainly consumed in the form of split pulse as Dal, which is an essential supplement of cereal based diet. The combination of dal-chawal (pulse-rice) or dal-roti (pulse-wheat bread) is an important ingredient in the average Indian diet. The biological value improves greatly, when wheat or rice is combined with Red gram because of the complementary relationship of the essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in lysine, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and iron.