Tag Archives: chapati

Guvar Batata (Indian Cluster beans vegetable with potato)

25 Nov

Guvar is not a very famous vegetable or I’d call it a neglected vegetable in the plethora of Indian vegetables. Mostly consumed in western areas of Maharashtra, it is liked by other communities and added as a part of Sambhar (lentil dal of South India) but it is definitely not popular as okra or eggplants. I personally love it and can eat it any given day. The frozen variety of cluster beans cooks quickly and saves time but if you buy it fresh, traditionally it is washed then the ends are trimmed and the beans are broken into pieces by hand as cutting does not remove the fibers that may get stuck in the teeth or throat when you chew these beans. The older the beans the more fibers that come off, the younger the beans, the fresher and less fibrous ones. Make sure the color is vibrant green and not yellowish green or a faint green. This recipe is typically cooked in parts of western India. So here goes.

Tip: You can boil the beans for 8-10 minutes with a pinch of turmeric and salt if you are in a hurry to cook.

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All you need:

  1. 1 lb Guvar or Cluster beans (washed, trimmed and chopped into long pieces)
  2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds(optional)
  4. 6-8 curry leaves (optional)
  5. pinch of asafoetida or hing
  6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1/2 tbsp goda masala (can be substituted by 1 tsp of Garam Masala + 1 tsp of red chili powder)
  8. 1-2 inch pieces of jaggery(can be substituted by 1 tsp of sugar)
  9. 1 medium sized potato(washed, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces)
  10. 1 tbsp of peanut powder (optional)
  11. salt to taste
  12. 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan or wok and add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  2. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves(optional) and hing or asafoetida. Let it all sizzle.
  3. Add turmeric and the chopped beans along with the potato. Stir well.
  4. Cover the pan with a flat plate and pour some water over it so that the vegetable is steamed and the vegetable does not burn.
  5. Cook this until the cluster beans and potato are tender about 20-25 minutes (less time will be required if it is half-boiled), stirring regularly in between making sure the vegetable does not stick. Also, if the water evaporates add more on the dish and a few teaspoons inside until it gets cooked.
  6. Add goda masala or red chili powder + garam masala.
  7. Add jaggery, adjust salt. Mix well. Cook until the jaggery melts in the vegetable and is combined well. Turn off the heat.
  8. Finish off with sprinkling peanut powder(roasted peanuts ground into powder). Serve with roti, rice and dal, chapati or naan.

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Rajma Chawal (Rice and Kidney bean curry)

15 Aug

My north Indian friends introduced me to the real Rajma Chawal and I am so hooked on to it. It’s a favorite comfort food for many! With proteins packed in the red kidney beans, it’s a healthy way to get children and adults to like it. There are only a few places where you can get the authentic Rajma Chawal. Otherwise everyone else has their own version of Rajma Chawal. Obviously if you visit a North Indian home, you will have one of the best home cooked Rajma Chawal. This is one of the few vegetarian dishes that I absolutely adore. Eating the entire cooked rajma the next day, instead of eating the same day you cooked it, with fresh steamed rice is like you are in a mini heaven of your own! Enough of talking, let’s get to it.

Tip: Soaking twice and rinsing and draining the beans several times helps reduce the gas that is built up due to the complex sugar in the beans ( One of my friends who is a nurse told me once and its true, my tummy hardly bloats up while eating beans).

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All you need:

  1. 1 cup Rajma or red kidney beans (soak overnight in about 4 cups of water, if possible drain the water once and soak in fresh water again before sleeping)
  2. Water 4 cups
  3. 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  4. 2 medium sized onions finely chopped
  5. 1 large tomato pureed
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 2 black cardamoms
  8. 1 inch cinnamon stick
  9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  10. 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  11. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  12. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  13. Salt as required
  14. 3 tbsp Oil
  15. 1/2 tsp kasoori methior dried fenugreek leaves (if available, you can get this in any Indian store)
  16. For garnishing you can add cilantro or lime wedge and sliced onion.

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Wash and drain the soaked rajma again.
  2. Cook the rajma in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water, salt, whole masala that is bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom , most Indians use pressure cooker, you can use your own vessel to cook the beans till they are soft and fully cooked. It may take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. Don’t overcook them till they are mushy or it will end up looking like a dal instead of a curry!
  3. Once cooked, reserve the liquid, don’t throw it away. Drain the liquid in a separate bowl. You can remove the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom if you wish at this point, I like to leave it all in there.
  4. Now, heat oil in a saucepan or kadhai on medium heat. Add the onions and fry them till they change color, you can even fry them till they are golden brown, but I prefer to fry them till they are transparent to pink.
  5. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears or till 30-45 seconds. Add the pureed tomato.
  6. Add all the spices one by one, turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and fry all the spices till they are well combined.
  7. Add the rajma/cooked beans and combine well with the mixture followed by the reserved liquid or the stock.
  8. Toss in the garam masala powder and kasoori methi(if available). Mix well. Check seasoning.
  9. Bring the curry to a good boil and simmer it for around 10 minutes.
  10. Garnish with cilantro or lemon wedge and sliced onion.
  11. Serve hot with steamed white rice or chapati(Indian flatbread).
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