Patani (Phaseolus lunatus, lima bean, butter bean)

Patani (Phaseolus lunatus, lima bean, butter bean)

The things one learns over the years… The first time I posted a photo of patani, I didn’t even know what its English name was. That was in January, 2006 (on page two of this updated post). I guess I’ve learned a few things since, from readers’ comments and from my own reading, because I now know that patani is called lima bean or butter bean although, in some cultures, there is a distinction between lima bean and butter bean. Hence, an updated post is in order.

If you want to confuse yourself just for fun, depending on the country or area of a country, butter bean is either (1) a type of lima bean or (2) mature lima bean that has turned yellow. The photo above shows green lima beans, sometimes referred to as “baby” lima beans. The “lima” appellation has to do with Peru (where the city of Lima is) being the earliest known exporter of the produce.

That’s enough confusion. More won’t be fun anymore. Let’s go to the nutritional profile of the lima bean.

According to WHFoods, lima beans are rich in molybdenum, tryptophan, fiber, manganese and folate among other things.

Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia…

Lima beans’ contribution to heart health lies not just in their fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate, and magnesium these beans supply… [Read "Lima beans" at WHFoods]

If the health benefits are irrelevant to you, you might want to eat lima beans for their buttery mouth-feel (they’re not called butter beans without a reason) and subtle flavor which make them a great addition to just about any dish.

If you want to read my so-so post from 2006, it’s on page 2.

  • maris

    i think the english name is “lima beans”.
    i also add it to pakbet or just plain sauteed.
    it tastes like sweet potato. however, it must be cooked well because otherwise, it could give out some (bad) gas.:)

  • linda

    looks like lima beans, i love them. kids hate them.

    • Leah

      Patani are called lima beans in the US.

  • Connie

    Thanks, all. :) I learned something new again. :) I wonder… are they ‘real’ beans?

  • Rin

    Hi Connie. This is what I found re patani. Plant originated from Lima, Peru.

    pat´ani’ n. lima beans, kidney beans

  • nel

    here’s some info on the lima beans…my mom adds it to fried rice and pakbet.

    Lima beans, native to South America, are ancient legumes that are sometimes referred to as the aristocrat of beans. The climbing plants on which limas grow were already in cultivation when Columbus arrived in the Americas, and archaeologists have discovered 7,000-year-old limas in Peru. Generally whitish in color, flat, and variably sized, they turn pale green when cooked and have a mellow, creamy flavor.

    Limas are members of the kidney bean family and are predominantly available as two main types: large, “potato” limas and small, baby lima beans, which are half the size of the large variety. Another, less common, variety is the large, speckled Christmas lima. The colors of lima bean varieties range from off-white and pale green to red, purple, brown, and almost black.

    • noemi

      in ilokano patani goes with pinakbet.

      • keithchiko

        finally found someone who is familiar with patani! i can’t seem to find it though here in metro manila markets. in pamganga we usually use it in making sinigang na baboy sa kamatis. yum

        • Connie

          keithchiko, i agree that they’re a little hard to find in wet markets; i found this bunch in the supermarket.

          Sorry, Kats, hindi eh. :sad:

  • joe

    i love to eat too, it is true Maris says.
    more info in this link,

  • Connie

    Ah, ok. So they are real beans. Thanks for all the info. I think patani will be a favorite in the weeks to come.

    • anna s.

      i was going to say they looked like lima beans to me..and since everybody said it is, so i guess they are..hehehe :razz:

  • http://none Kats

    ms sassy,

    naku, try nyo po kaya yung local “laswa” ng Iloilo. all vegetables

    familiar po kayo?

  • patani hunter

    ask ko lang po if san makakahanap ng mismong plant na patani? tnx

  • mAjAm10

    hello everyone!! anyone knows where we can buy PATANI LEAVES.?? for research purposes ASAP! pm me fast anyone who knows.. thanks ahead

  • hanna

    Wow. I didnt know that patani has this much nutrients. Lol. I love patani though. Mom cooks it with pata and garlic leaves. And also with pinakbet, along with sigarilyas.

    This is very informative ate connie.

    • Charo

      Hi there, I love patani, since my father is a GI (Genuine Ilocano) he always cooks us vegetables. Ilocano vegetable includes patani, round eggplant, squash blossom and bunga ng malunggay. I just hope there will be enugh of this at wet market. Mahal din kasi, here in Manila it’s about P20 per small can…wala pang 1/4 yun. Sayang considering that we are an agricultural country even vegetables like this are still expensive.

  • fleur

    recently ko lang na-appreciate ang patani when a family friend brought home some bicol express not the typical pork- bicol express instead patani,fresh alamang,gata at sili…I’ve been cooking it eversince! heheehe! lucky me,maraming tanim na patani sina mommy at lola sa province,madalas ako padalhan at pag umuuwi naman ako,i pick it myself,tabo-tabo yun napipitas ko! I wish i can sell the bean here,ang mahal kasi tska madalang lang :)) ang bango pag freshly picked tpos hinalo sa pakbet *drool*

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