Besan wali gwar ki sabzi

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.


  1. I love sweetish Jawar beans to but hardly get them here. Besan in it makes it yummy. Good one DB! :)

  2. Thanks Asha, that was quick!
    I was still editing the post, and I got your comment:)

  3. Wow this is one of the most delicious bean dish i have ever seen, no wonder you miss this dish.
    Early Happy B'day wished to you.
    Enjoy you b'day tommorow.

  4. Love this dish.. Very new to me.. I hardly know any recipes with guvar.. this one is a must-try..

  5. Happy Burday to you! I turn one in a few weeks too. It's been fun this last year doing this blogging thing. I was a former gwar hater, now I like it if it's been made well. This version looks good, I think Sharmila had made something like this once with green peppers. I tried that and liked it. The only that bothers me about making gwar are those sides that need to be snipped off. They do need to be snipped off right?

  6. i got this vegetable once from mustafa and made the usual thoran, a Kerala specialty. Have to try this next time :)

  7. My Aunt from Kanpur used to make this and also my Buaji(papa's sis) who resides in Madhypradesh makes a bit different version,and it had such a nice flavor of besan and hing,that the taste is hard to forget
    Thanks for reminding me this ,for i just realized i haven't tasted it since so long

  8. I happen to be the latter .. but hubby is the former ... so I do cook this thing. Thanks to you I know of a different way of making this now.
    Happy b'day! :-)

  9. never had this veggie this way..

  10. Happy Birthday DB :)

    I've never bought or cooked with this myself but my mom usually made paruppu usli with it.. This besan sabzi looks awesome.

  11. Advanced Birthday wishes to you!

    The curry looks wonderful, I could even have it as a snack I guess :))

  12. Rashmi i never make gwar... my hubby does not liek it. but i love when i mom in law makes for me.. urs sound much better:-) with hing & ajwain & besan.. I can just imagine the taste & flavors going on there:-)If i find it here, i will make this version.

  13. Ur blog is more like a home for me...apne ghar ka swad jaissa lagta hai..I like gawar ki sabji Sometimes i make it without besan also.A very happy Birthday to u.

  14. i haven't eaten these in ages!! what a great recipe, I'll definitely been on the look out for these beans now!

  15. I love gwar, but adding besan is new for me, will try ur version..

  16. Thanks for the birthday wishes, dear friends.

    Bharti, they need to be snipped off, but you can pull them out as part of topping & tailing.I find that part fun though:)

  17. First off, happy birthday :) Secondly, that is SO baniya :) No onions, no tomatoes ;) Nice recipe! especially if you dont feel like chopping up onions :)

  18. ok I have guar and I know I am going to love this.

    BTW is UP baniya dishes different from other UP dishes ?

  19. Sandeepa:
    most of my bong friends have a taste for 'bitter', so yes,I have a feeling u might like the enjoyable(for me!) bitterness of gwar and ajwain.

    UP baniya or baniya food for that matter is different because onion & garlic are hardly ever used. Instead strong condiments such as hing, ajwain and ginger are used libeally to spice things up. The other main UP cuisines are Kayastha which (I am Kayastha by marriage BTW) is essentially based on the richer mughlai cuisine.

    Benares/Mathura is predominantly Baniya/Brahmin typeno onion/garlic cooking, whereas Lucknow/Aligarh food is more Mughlai sorts, and then there are various other regional spin offs as well.

  20. I belong to a jain family wherein we dont use much of onion and garlic either..This recipe looks like a great change for gawar phali..I amsurely going to try..

  21. Late, but Happy Birthday! I was immediately drawn to bookmark this post, too yummy!

  22. I love gavar beans too though I have not seen them here where I live. Your dish looks yummy.

  23. HI DB, Thanks a million. I wanted to cook Gawar but didnt know any nice recipee. Its lovely and delicious. My wife is going to love it!! Thanks mate. God Bless

  24. Tried this dish. Super-delicious, DB! I'll try to take a pic and post it with a link to your post. Thanks for a keeper recipe!

  25. heyy DB..this recipe rocked!!! so quick and yummy...we loved it!!!

  26. had never bought gwar earlier but the other day i bought it and searched the net for a recipe and came across ur recipe which looked easy to make. so i made it and it was an instant hit with the family!!!

  27. hi, besan masal tasted really good. One thing I was confused of is whether you had put water while cooking beans in besan masala.

  28. It is very delicious...but when to add Besan?