Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Vaalachi Usal (Dry Hyacinth Beans curry)

Hyacinth Beans are popularly known as 'Vaal' in Marathi, 'avarekaalu' in Kanadda or 'mochai'  in Tamil. In Maharashtra some people prefer to call this curry as 'Vaalachi usal' or 'Vaalacha Birda' (Hyacinth beans curry)

Vaal - 1 cup (after soaking and sprouting the volume will increase to 2 cups)
2 medium size onions (1 1/2 onion -finely chopped, 1/2 onion for making paste)
ginger about 1 inch
garlic 15-20
coriander leaves for garnish, and 1/2 cup for making masala
1 green chilli (This depends how spicy you want your curry to be)
jeera seeds 1 tbs
coriander seeds 1/2 tbs
red chilli powder as per taste (depends how much spicy you want the curry)
salt as per taste
turmeric 1 tbs
mustard seeds 1 tbs
hing 1/2 tbs
amsul (garnicia indica) 4-5  (or use 4-5 pieces of raw mango when raw mango is in season)
fresh grated coconut -1/2 cup (1/2 cup coconut milk can be used too)
jaggery 1 tbs
Oil 2 tbs
water - as required (to make curry like consistency)

For making the masala
  1. Grind 1/2 onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli(s), jeera, coriander seeds (add little water if needed. Keep aside.
  2. Separately grind freshly grated coconut (add water to make it a paste like consistency) Keep aside. Do not mix with the masala made in step 1 above.

These beans are dried ones and needs to be soaked for 8 hours, then tied in a muslin cloth for sprouting for another 8-10 hours. Then you need to remove the brown cover and what you get is white beans as shown in the picture above. This is a 2 day process but the end product is an amazing curry!!
  1. Heat oil in a non stick pan (or kadhai) and add mustard seeds, hing. Let the spices splutter for sometime. Add the chopped onion and saute for a while.
  2. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the masala done in step 1 above
  3. Saute for 1/2 a minute. Add the vaal (beans).
  4. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. Put 1 cup water and bring it to a boil.
  5. The best way to cook these beans is to cover the pan/kadhai with a lid/plate and add some water on this lid/plate. (this method will help fast cooking of the Vaal (beans) Test the beans if they are cooked by breaking them in two pieces. Add water to make it a curry like consistency.
  6. Add amsul, fresh grated coconut (or coconut milk ), salt and jaggery
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Enjoy this curry with steamed rice/ rotis and nice spicy pickle!!


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