I try and create healthy recipes for my everyday cooking. Recipes for which I don’t have to slog in the kitchen for long. Just one hour and I should be done with my dinner and next day’s lunch preparation as well.
Usually I go for a combo of any simple lentil curry (dal) + chapatti + a dry side dish (sabzi). I try to keep rice for the days when I am exhausted after a long day at work and have no energy to knead the dough, cook roti etc. those days I prefer to make one pot meals that don’t need much of chopping, stirring etc.
People often tell me that they get really confused for what side dish to cook for the dinner. Luckily, my family is not that fussy and so I experiment with a wide range of sabzi for dinner time. Cluster beans a.k.a. Gawar ki phali is a new addition to this list of mine.
Gawar or gavar was a not so common vegetable in the area where I grew up. Its only a few years ago that I came across the benefits of this nutritious vegetable and gave it a place in my kitchen. And honestly! I love it now.
Cluster beans or gavarfali is native to India and is grown and consumed in almost all the states. This little green soft and tender beans contain glyconutrients that help in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. Not many people are aware of the fact that gavar is low in glycemic index and hence, do not cause rapid fluctuations in your blood sugar levels when consumed. Although this is one vegetable you should include in your diet if suffering from diabetes. There are many health benefits of gawar that we are hardly aware of. Check this site to know more about it.
I haven’t had chance to experiment much with this yet. Due to its slightly bitter taste, its not a very versatile vegetable one can play around with. Mostly I make it as a simple stir fry with potatoes but in this recipe I have tried mixing other vegetables as well. The sweetness from the carrots and the blending nature of potatoes mixes very well with the beans. Adding onions also keeps the flavours balanced.
The only disadvantage I find with cluster beans is that it takes a lot of time to chop them. For about half a kg beans, it takes me more than half an hour to clean and chop. Which is why I avoid making them over the weekdays since I don’t have that much time for dinner. Usually I ask for S’s help or I simply keep them chopped over the weekend, zip them in plastic and use them for Monday.
What you need?
- 250 gms cluster beans (gawar/gavar ki phali), chopped equal sized
- 2 medium sized potatoes, diced equal sized
- 2 medium sized carrots, sliced equal sized
- 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 1-2 green chilies, chopped small
- 1 large onion, chopped roughly
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric, cumin seeds each
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1-2 bay leaves
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tsp salt OR as per taste
- 2 tbsp Oil – I used mustard oil for this
How to make?
Heat oil in a pan, throw in cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add in asafoetida and bay leaf, fry for 10 seconds. Add in crushed garlic and sauté for half a minute.
Add in chopped onion, green chili and ginger, mix and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in tomatoes and all the spices, combine well and let the mixture cook, covered for 3-5 minutes till tomatoes get mushy and blend with the spices.
Add in chopped carrots, beans and potatoes. Ad din 2-3 tbsp of water, mix well and let the sabji cook covered for about 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring frequently in between. Add in more tbsp. of water if required.
After 8-10 minutes open the lid and check if gawar is cooked properly by pressing it with spatula. If gawar or cluster bean looks a bit raw then cover the lid and cook further for 2-3 minutes. Turn off when cooked properly.
You can prepare this curry in a pressure cooker by following the same process and pressure cook with little water for 1-2 whistles. Once the steam subsides, increase the flame and let the water evaporate if you prefer a dry version or serve as it is if you like gravy version
You can add grated coconut or dry coconut powder along with ground nut powder at the end as added in Maharashtra.
If you are looking for more quick dinner recipe, try this is this Jain style Methi alu sabzi