Yes, about that stunner gavar recipe. I never cared much for these beans. It may have something to do with the name – in Hindi the word also means ‘a country bumpkin’.
But this summer I went from disliking them to not being able to pass them by. I went from cooking them once a year (so that my FIL could not truthfully say that I never cook these) to cooking them once a week. I agree, they’re gorgeous. 😆
There were a few hits and misses on the way to this truly fantastic recipe. Here’s the whole story.
Some time back I attempted Manisha’s nutty green beans, albeit with a little less oil. Naturally! 😀
I didn’t have the kanda-lassun masala she used in the recipe, and followed her suggestion to use garam masala (she must have meant Maharashtrian garam masala!). Sorry, those beans turned out nothing to write home about. I suspected that there was more to the masala than she was letting on…
A little later she wrote about left-over matters. By now I (ahem) knew her a little better and prodded a little more about the kanda-lassun masala. Turns out, she’s a little like my mom – she will not tell you all she knows the first time around. This time she let it slip that some goda masala might be in order. Okay, so if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Try asking her again.
And try again I did. Using all her tips (and reading in-between the lines), and using gavar instead of green beans, and ghati masala instead of kanda-lassun masala, I got myself such a wonderful recipe that I had to make it every week after that till the cluster beans season was finally over last week.
You can get around the kanda-lassun masala by using ghati masala (I get my supply from TH’s aunt in Mumbai) + goda masala. If you don’t have ghati masala, triple the amount of garlic and onion in the recipe, and add lots of red chilli powder. Goda masala is not optional – so get yourself a Maharashtrian friend or, if you have nothing better to do, make your own.
Spicy Nutty Cluster Beans
(totally inspired by this)
250 gms gavar (cluster beans), strung and snapped to 1” lengths, about 2 C
¼ cup freshly roasted peanuts, skinned and crushed coarse
½ a red onion, chopped very fine, about ¼ C
a few garlic cloves, smashed (I was using very small bulbs, desi variety)
¼ t turmeric
1 ½ t ghati masala (or use more of onion-garlic-red chilli powder)
½ t goda masala
½ t red chilli powder (optional)
½ t rai (small mustard seeds)
¼ t (mild) hing
1 T oil
Heat oil in a heavy pan or karahi. Add mustard seeds, cover with a lid immediately, and let splutter. Once the mustard has calmed down, add hing, followed by the onion and garlic. Fry this over medium heat till almost dry (about 5 min). Add turmeric and ghati masala. Stir till fragrant (a few seconds). Add the prepared beans. Stir and sprinkle with salt and goda masala. Add a tablespoon of water and mix. Cover and cook till done (about 10-15 minutes), stirring every few minutes. Mix in the crushed peanuts just before serving.
Manisha has her way with cluster beans: Chitkya ani Kalya Vatanyachi bhaji (Cluster beans with black peas)
Indira’s Cluster beans Curry
The Cook’s Cottage has another version: Cluster Beans Bhaji
Tags: beans, cluster beans, gavar, ghati masala, goda masala, vegetarian, under 30 min