Pulses are important component of diet, and information on their physical properties is needed for designing machines while cooking quality is important for consumer acceptance. Three black gram cultivars grown in India were evaluated for physical and cooking properties. Proximate composition revealed that three cultivars contained 24.5–26.7% protein, 1.1–1.3% fat, 2.8–3.7% ash and 60.4–63.3% carbohydrates. Length, breadth and thickness of seeds were in the range of 4.66–5.11 mm, 3.71–3.79 mm and 3.20–3.29 mm, respectively. True density and porosity varied from 1.25–1.29 g mL−1 to 33.43–36.09%, respectively. Hydration and swelling capacities of the seeds varied from 0.036–0.041 g per seed to 0.037–0.042 mL per seed, respectively. Cooking time of unsoaked seeds varied significantly from 35.3 to 42.7 min. Hardness and adhesiveness of the cooked seeds varied from 2.12–2.55 kg to 0.02–0.99 kg s, respectively. The black gram cultivars are rich in protein, and soaking treatment improved their cooking quality.