Friday, January 25, 2013

Christmas Beans Curry

When I was growing up in Mumbai, mom used to make a delicious curry with "Double Beans". She would get fresh or dry variety. I loved them not just because they were delicious or they were huge in size but because they had a beautiful purple, pink hues on them. They were so stunning to look at.

Whenever I visit Mumbai these days, I can't find these cherished beans. However, I saw something similar - maybe a distant relative of this childhood favorite of mine - at Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans at San Francisco Farmers Market. These beans were called "Christmas Beans". I decided to use the same recipe that - I think - my maushi had developed using Marathi and Punjabi ingredients.

Gudiya loved this curry. I couldn't tell if she actually loved these beans due to their delicious taste or due to the word "Christmas" in them.

Christmas Beans Curry
1 cup dry Christmas Beans or Indian Double Beans, soak overnight [They get huge so use a big bowl and use plenty of water to soak]
1 or 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp jaggery

Grind to a fine paste
1 cup cilantro
15 fresh mint leaves
3-4 green chilies, more or less per desired heat
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 1/2" ginger, peeled

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced tomatoes

1. Pressure cook beans with potatoes and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan.
3. Add turmeric powder and onion. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Add tomatoes. Saute till they are pulpy.
5. Now add mint paste. Saute for 10-12 minutes.
6. Add all powders and salt.
7. Add cooked beans & potatoes along with the cooking liquid.
8. Add jaggery. Bring to boil.
9. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Note -
1. Fresh mint is an important ingredient for this recipe. Do not skip it.
2. You can use dried beans or fresh beans [as in planting the dried beans and harvesting them!] for this recipe.
Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans Stall at San Francisco Farmers Market

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