Saw a great wildlife documentary called "Wildest India". One main regional focus of this was the Thar desert in Northwest India where a tribal group called the Bishnois have a great reverence for this plant. Their efforts to preserve the tree is rooted in their religion and several hundred years ago has brought them into violent conflict with the Maharajah of Jodhpur. The Bishnois have a religious mandate to preserve biodiversity.
In Bahrain there is a 400 year old specimen of the Prosopis cineraria called the "Tree of life".
This tree species might be very useful in arid US states and arid regions of other continents, but other species in the Prosopis (Mesquite) genus have proven invasive in some settings. (e.g. P. pallida in Hawaii and P. glandulosa elsewhere)
"P. cineraria is a small tree, ranging in height from 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft). Leaves are bipinnate, with seven to fourteen leaflets on each of one to three pinnae. Branches are thorned along the internodes. Flowers are small and creamy-yellow, and followed by seeds in pods. The tree is found in extremely arid conditions, with rainfall as low as 15 cm (5.9 in) annually; but is indicative of the presence of a deep water table. As with some other Prosopis spp., P. cineraria has demonstrated a tolerance of highly alkaline and saline environments.
The wood of P. cineraria is a good fuel source, and provides excellent charcoal plus firewood, fodder, green manure and goat-proof thorny fences.
The leaves, called "Loong" in India and pods are consumed by livestock and are a beneficial forage. In Rajasthan, India, P. cineraria is grown in an agroforestry setting in conjunction with millet.The tree is well-suited for an agroforestry setting, because it has a single-layered canopy, it is a nitrogen fixer (thus enriching the soil), and its deep roots avoid competition for water with crops.
Prosopis cineraria fruits or pods are locally called sangar or sangri in Rajasthan,India . The dried pods locally"called Kho-Kha are eaten. Dried pods also are used as animal feed for livestock. Green pods can also be used as an animal feed, which is prepared by drying the young boiled pods. The dried green sangri is used as a dried vegetable. Many Rajasthani families use the green and unripe pods (sangri) in preparation of curries and pickles.