As I turn another year older tomorrow, I find myself missing the simple and delicious UP baniya dishes of my childhood.
This is a quick recipe for one of those homey veggies: gwar phali(cluster beans). Gwar is one of those vegetables that has both fans and detractors and I now happen to be the former.
This is a typical UP style way of cooking this veggie, that is sans, onion or garlic, thereby retaining the original taste of the vegetable. I tweaked my recipe from here, a site that has lots of UP recipes.
Since the author has learnt this from her sister in Lucknow, I hope this can also qualify for RCI Awadhi:)
250 gm. (1 1/2 cup prepared) gwar ki phali/cluster beans
2-3 tbsp oil
1/3 tsp. carom seed or ajwain seeds
A pinch of asafoetida or heeng powder
1 heaped tbsp besan or gram flour(chickpea flour)
1/4tsp turmeric powder or haldi
1/2tsp. chilli powder or to taste
1 tsp. coriander or dhania powder
1/2 tsp. Amchoor (dry mango powder). Can be substituted with lemon juice.
salt to taste
1.Top & tail guar phalli. Chop into 2-3 inch pieces.
2.Boil/microwave lightly, so they are softened but not mushy. In my microwave it took around 5 minutes on high power.Drain water off.
3.Heat oil in a pan. Add asafoetida powder and carom seeds . As soon as the seeds begin to splutter, sprinkle besan and fry on low heat for 20 to 30 seconds, until lightly browned.
4.Add turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder, and then the beans. Add salt and stir fry until all water has dried and beans look shiny. Cover and cook for a few minutes, if beans are still undercooked. Mine were.
5.When they are cooked through, add mango powder, mix well and check salt.Serve hot with roti.
Although the original recipe calls for adding amchoor early on, I prefer adding it later as I have been taught that sour stuff slows the tenderizing/cooking process.
Note: It is not advisable to be too measly with oil here, as the besan clumps can turn dry and brittle if the oil is too little. A generous but reasonable quantity (3 tbsp) makes the dish moist and tasty.