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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cluster Beans with Carom Seasoning - Gavar Bhaji

I have come to the conclusion that distance (and time) makes the heart grow fonder. When I was a child, this was not a vegetable that I liked. I remember a frown on my face when I looked at this vegetable on my plate. Fast forward several years, after not having seen these beans for the longest time, I was surprised that I go so excited to see a packet of the frozen beans. I immediately wanted to cook it just like my Mom used to make it. I rushed home and all I could remember was the taste and the distinct smell of the caraway seeds. So, I let my memories of the taste guide me to make this and it turned out just the way Mom used to. 

These days this has become much more accessible and I can even find the fresh beans in the Indian grocery stores here. I still enjoy eating it though it is commonplace now, because whenever I make it, it takes me back to my childhood days.


Ingredients
2 tbsp oil 
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafoetida
½ tsp carom/ajwain/owa seeds 
1-2 green chilies slit lengthwise
½ lb gavar/ cluster beans, diced
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
½ tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp goda masala (optional) – If goda masala is not available, substitute with ½ tsp cumin/jeera powder and ½ tsp coriander/dhania powder
1-2 tbsp water if needed



Method
In a pan, heat the oil and then add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the hing and ajwain. Then add the green chillies and let them cook a little. Then add the turmeric powder, stir and add the cut gavar. Stir to coat the gavar well. If using, add the goda masala or the cumin-corrianger powder and mix well. Add the salt. Cover the pan, switch to low heat and let the beans cook stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once the gavar is cooked, add the sugar, stir well. Serve hot with roti/chapati.



Tips
If the gavar is not tender, and fibrous, it takes longer to cook. In this case, you can add a tbsp. of water to increase the moisture content and to help cook the beans.  

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