Graduation was fantastic! Thank you for all of the congratulations and good luck wishes you left for me. As always, your support is invaluable. Time to start a fresh, new chapter of my life, and the only way to fire up such chapters is with fresh, innovative food.

This dish combines firm field beans with a creamy, clean tasting yogurt sauce. Perfect for those who like subtly spiced dishes or those who simply fancy a change from heavily perfumed concoctions.

 

You can buy field beans from all good Indian grocery or health food shops; they can be found fresh, dried and frozen so keep your beans eyes peeled. Their texture is best described as a cross between white soya beans and cannellini beans. Delicious in soups and stews, they are more popularly added to curries in Gujarati cuisine. The famous young field bean (whole) and aubergine curry (vaalore ringdra) is evidence of its popularity; it has dominated wedding menus for years. And I ain’t gonna question that!

Vaal- Mature field beans with the pod removed
Valore- Young field beans (the whole pod, including the beans inside)

Enjoy this with hot chapattis, steamed brown rice, a crisp green salad and a fresh take on life.

Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce
(Serves 4)

4 cups fresh vaal, boiled in salted water (with a pinch of baking powder) then rinsed under cold water
½ cup peanuts, ground
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup yogurt
5 cups cold water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 hot green chillies, minced
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 red chilli, halved lengthways
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste

Method

1. Mix together the yogurt, water, ground peanuts and chickpea flour until smooth.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add the asafoetida, garlic, both types of chilli and ginger. Sauté briefly, then add the yogurt mixture. Stir this continuously until it reaches boiling point.

3. Add the turmeric, salt and cooked vaal. Allow to simmer for around 5 minutes and finally stir in the chopped coriander.

 

Print