The health benefits of cluster beans are in the protein and fiber they provide. Cluster Beans (known as gawar or guar phalli, goru chikkudu or kothavara) are a type of green beans which are a flatter, smaller cousin of the regular green (French or string) beans.
In India, cluster beans are commonly used in vegetable curries and lentil dals. Unlike the regular green beans, cluster beans have a slightly bitter taste. To tone down the bitterness, freshly grated coconut, or tamarind, jaggery, and tomatoes are used.
The recipe for the following Cluster Beans was given by our keen supporter, Dianna Correa. I tried it at home and have posted it for the benefit of our viewers. Thank you Diana, please do send us more of your favourites. Dear friends/readers, please do try it out, its different and nice.
½ kg. cluster beans
1 medium onion
2 medium tomatoes
Salt to taste
½ cup water
1 tablespoon oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
3 flakes garlic, crushed
String the cluster beans. Break into 1” long pieces. Chop the onions and tomatoes. Heat oil, add mustard seeds and when they crackle add the garlic, curry leaves and onions and fry till soft. Then add tomatoes and fry till soft.
Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes till the raw smell disappears. Add the vegetable and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add ½ cup water and salt. Cover and cook till done. P.S. Do not add any sugar or jaggery. The ground paste and tomatoes help to eliminate the natural bitterness of the cluster beans.
Butter Parota :
Want a simple and easy Parota recipe ? These are a big favourite with my boys; who are never satisfied with just one or two. The recipe I have given makes about 20-22 quarter-plate sized Parotas. The dough should be kneaded well and should be soft – this ensures soft Parotas. I use roughly this quantity of water, but it depends on the brand of dough you use. After it is kneaded the dough should be soft but not sticky. If it is sticky sprinkle a little more flour and knead again adding just a teaspoon more oil to your palms.
For the Dough :
500 grams White Flour/Maida (roughly 4 english tea cups)
250 grams Wheat Flour (roughly 2 english tea cups)
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Oil 4 tablespoons
Hot Water to knead the dough (approx 2 -1/4 cup water)
Flour for rolling and sprinkling on the parota
Butter – softened 2-3 blobs
In a bowl sieve both flours. Add salt, oil, sugar and hot water (straight from kettle) – mix with a spoon till it cools and then knead with your hands till a soft dough is formed. Apply a film of oil to your hands and knead for at least 5-8 minutes. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour.
Make balls. Roll into small disk, apply butter and on the butter sprinkle a little flour. Take a knife and cut from the center to the edge. Lift one of the cut edges and roll into a cone in a clock-wise direction. Stand the cone (tip up) on the rolling board and press and form a ball. Apply little flour and roll thin with a rolling pin to approx a quarter-plate size. Fry on a hot tawa till done. Let it fry well on one side before you turn it. Too many turns will make it tough; so limit to maximum 4 turns. Press the sides gently with a flat tawa-ladle on the third and 4th turn, so that they puff up here and there. Brush with a little butter; remove and keep warm in a bowl till serving time.