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Guar (Indian Cluster Bean)

Cyamopsis tetragonoloba

Grown by: Truelove Seeds Farm in Glen Mills, PA

  • $5.00

Also known as Cluster Beans, Guvar, Gawar, Guwar, and Indian String Bean. Important vegetable crop for many people from India and Pakistan, and very hard to find here in the US. Cook very tender, young pods into a dry curry or vegetable dish (subji). Heat up oil with Indian anise seeds and add garlic, turmeric, chili powder, coriander, powder, and cumin powder. Add the guar and cook in the pressure cooker! (Recipe curtesy of our friend Nital - see below).

It is not known where this plant originated since it seems to be nowhere in the wild, but people suspect it was cultivated from another species in Africa, and further selected in South Asia. Yes, this nitrogen-fixing legume is the same Guar Gum used for its gel in many processed foods. It’s an important part of crop rotations, especially in northwestern India and Pakistan.

We first learned of this crop from our friend Nital Vidalia-Kakadia who told us we should try growing it for the South Asian diaspora. Later our apprentice (now grower) Tika Jagad tended to it at our farm and remembered eating it growing up. Hear them both (and Tika's father) talking about this plant in our Seeds and Their People podcast: EP. 22: Gujarati Seeds and Flavors with Nital Vadalia-Kakadia

COOKING NOTE: Young pods should be cooked (not eaten fresh) to remove a slight toxicity. 

Days to maturity: 60-90

Seeds per pack: 25

Germination rate: 96% on 01/24/2024

Planting / harvesting notes

This plant prefers high temperatures and drier weather, and usually grows in subtropical and tropical environments. Too much humidity or rain can cause damage in pod development. We have had better luck growing this crop in the protection of our high tunnel. Provide full sun and loose or sandy soil. We have also found that it doesn't seem to like to be transplanted, but we start ours indoors 4-6 weeks before frost and transplant 1' apart in the field after the last frost. 

Seed keeping notes

Harvest dry, brittle pods and shell them like other legumes. Allow seeds to dry further before storing (we give all seeds two weeks in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight to continue drying). 


This product is part of the South Asian Collection.

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