29 January 2010

Double beans with Amaranth greens

Beans and greens are a classic combination in many of the world cuisines. When I went shopping for veggies in our fresh supermarket nearby, I saw a lady shelling these huge green beans and what came out were the cutest pink and white smooth beans - and absolutely huge in size. The colours reminded me of a Johnson baby bottle, what else can you expect from the mom of a little one. Here in Hyderabad, I'm trying to eat local - trying out stuff that we didn't usually find in Bombay. The southern states usually have a wider variety of greens - and in Chennai the green-vendors usually pop by early morning so that the stuff can be cooked fresh for lunch. I haven't yet sourced someone like that here, but I try and get my fix of a variety of greens at least thrice a week.
This time it is Thotakoora or Amaranth greens which is quite a pleasant tasting thing. I have used this in Sambar, along with tomato-onions as a stir fry and this time in a sundal like preparation with cooked double-beans, which I laid my hands on for the first time.
Fresh double beans are the cutest looking - baby pink in colour stippled white, very pretty indeed and tasty too. I'm sad I did not take a pic of the shelled beans - next time around I intend to do so and update here.
Since they were fresh, there was no soaking involved - just pressure cooking for five minutes until they were buttery soft with shape intact. These are also called 'butter-beans' I guess. Cooked and mashed, these will make a delicious hummus too - will reserve this experiment for next time.

Double beans with amaranth greens
Serves 3-4
Cooking time - under 30 minutes

1 heaped cup of shelled double beans (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of amaranth leaves (or any other greens)
1 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp udad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida
1 dried red chilli - broken into bits
1 sprig curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh scraped coconut

Pressure cook the double beans for 3-4 minutes with 1 cup water. Drain and keep aside. (I cook them directly in a small cooker. After one whistle, left it on sim for 4-5 minutes and then switched off the flame)
In a cup of water,  boil the leaves till tender - drain and keep aside. You can use a bit of this water to moisten the sundal in the end or use it as a stock for soup or sambar.
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the udad dal, once this is golden, add the next four ingredients.
Wait till the seeds splutter and the curry leaves crackle - add the greens and drained beans. Season with salt. Stir well to coat with seasonings. Remove from flame and garnish with fresh coconut.
This can be had as a snack or as an accompaniment to rotis or rice.

This combination was so hearty and filling, and I'm sure any other greens and beans combination can be made into a sundal, adding the nutritional benefits of green leafy veggies to the protein-rich beans.


DEESHA said...

lovely sundal .. very healthy too

Ranjani said...

I've never seen such huge beans before, and am still laughing at your comment on how they resemble a baby's bottle! This looks like such a terrific low cal snack idea- I make something similar with garbanzo beans and wilted arugula, have to get my hands on some fresh coconut now, the few times I've used coconut in cooking it's always been frozen.

Didan said...

This dish looks wonderful!!

I, too, was laughing about how "cute pink"...like a "baby bottle" they were! I'd love to see what the shelled beans look like. I was instantly curious with the way you described the lady shelling them. I'll look for your update! :)

Lorna Sass said...

Thrilled you're aware of the joys of pressure cooking and are spreading the word. You and your readers may enjoy my various pc cookbooks and my blog: www.pressurecookingwithlornasass.wordpress.com

Nandita said...

Thanks Deesha.

Ranjani - all kinds of substitutions for the beans would work fine, could present it as a salad too - frozen grated coconut is fine too. When sprinkled on hot sundal, it will soften up and almost resemble fresh i guess ;)

Didan - will surely post the pics of the fresh shelled beans :)if possible along with the lady shelling them.

Lorna - we in India have been using pressure cookers since time immemorial :) and every kitchen has at least one if not more :)

Rujuta said...

Lovely Sundal.......Beans and Greens.....it ryhmes well too :))
Lovely recipe......and the clicks are so good that the double beans are looking very tempting.....
I was wondering if we can pressure cook the entire sabzi....we do that at times with pulses.....

Nandita said...

Pressure cooking greens is okay, but if you are going to combine with beans, cooking times vary and the greens will get very mushy in the end. Hence I have adopted this method.

Latha said...

That is one pretty looking salad. I never seen big and beautful pink beans before. I am sure it tasted delicious too.

Stephanie said...

Love the addition of a sprinkle of coconut. I just blogged about coconut today, in fact.

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Caleb said...

I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at ramendays@yahoo.com or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.


dining room tables said...

I find the beans so big in the photo. But I find it easy to make and delicious.

Rujuta said...

Dear Nandita,

I have an award to share with you......Do collect it from my blog...... Heartiest Congratulations dear and Happy Blogging........

Nithu Bala said...

Love this delicious sundal..very lovely click too..came here from Rujuta's blog..happy to have found your blog Dear..you have so many lovely recipes..I'm following you..

Nandita said...

Thanks Nitu - Rujuta, i'm heading over to your blog now :)

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