Monday, October 11, 2010

Vaal Beans aka Hyacinth beans in peanut gravy curry

For some time now, I have been wanting to try some type of curry with whole vaal beans aka hyacinth beans. To know more about this bean, check out this wiki entry. Usually, this microwave curry made with split vaal lentil graces my table in regular frequency. But whole vaal beans that I recently purchased had been relegated to a corner of my pantry waiting its turn.

When I came across this recipe on ISG's Daily musings, I was instantly intrigued and knew I would not be able to resist trying it out very soon. I changed a few things from her version of this dish, skipped the coconut in favor of coconut oil, skipped the tamarind in favor of dry mango powder and increased the quantity of peanuts in the gravy to give this dish a more curry like feel. We thoroughly enjoyed this curry, it was perfect with both plain steamed rice and plain phulkas (Indian flat bread) 

 Vaal beans curry ~ Hyacinth beans in peanut gravy curry

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make whole val beans curry
2 cups whole val beans( mochai) soaked for 6 to 8 hours
1 medium onion cut fine
2 medium tomatoes cut fine
2 tbsp grated jaggery (or to taste)
1/2 tsp dry mango ( amchur ) powder (optional see notes)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste

Dry roast and grind the following
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 dry red chilies ( I used byadgi variety) (or to taste)
1/3 cup unsalted skinned peanuts
along with
1 inch piece of ginger and
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies (or to taste)

Drain the soaked val beans and keep aside.

Dry roast coriander seeds, dry red chilies and unsalted skinned peanuts separately   until it changes color and is aromatic. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and powder in a spice grinder or blender until fine. Once powdered, add ginger, green chilies, a few drops of water as required and grind again to a smooth paste. Keep this paste aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds to it. When the seeds begin to splutter add onions and saute until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes, stir and allow tomatoes to cook until soft and mushy.

Add to this drained val beans and some water and allow the beans to simmer and cook until soft yet not mushy. You can also pressure cook the val beans ahead of time and add just after cooking the tomatoes.
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Once the val beans are cooked, add salt to taste, amchur powder, grated jaggery, ground paste and water as needed to achieve required consistency. Allow the val beans to simmer in this gravy for a few minutes for the flavors to blend.

Remove from heat and serve hot with plain steamed rice or rotis/ phulkas (Indian flat bread)

In case you want to avoid the dry mango powder (amchur) you can increase the quantity of tomatoes to give this dish a little more tang/tartness.
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