Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nine beans kuzhambu (or kurma perhaps)

So, I bought this packet of 9 beans (combination of beige garbanzo, dark brown garbanzo, green garbanzo, green vatana, yellow vatana, rajma etc) because I liked the concept. Well, liking concept is one thing, but coming up with recipes is another. So the packet adorned my shelf for quite some time till I spotted it a couple of days ago and decided to soak it . Recipe ideas will come on its own, no?

Well, when the time to cook came, I still had no idea what to do once I had boiled the beans. So I decided to add ingredients as I went. To my surprise, the end result was surprisingly tasty. Only complaint, if any, was that it had a taste that would complement rice based tiffins (like dosa, idli, appam etc) better than wheat based (like rotis, parathas etc) ones. Oh well, I just had the kuzhambu with dosas. Yumm.

Nine beans kuzhambu

Ingredients (makes enough for 4-5 people):
Nine beans - 1 cup (soak them in water for at least 24 hours since they have rajma, notoriously hard to soften).
2 Big (black) cardamoms, crushed (omit if unavailable - do not substitute with green cardamom unless you like the flavor)
A few pinches hing
1.5 tsp salt

Pressure cook the beans with cardamom, hing, salt and water for 18 minutes after the first whistle sounds. Drain and set aside.

1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 green chillis (grind it into a paste along with the ginger and garlic)
4 medium onions, chopped fine
2 tomatoes, ground into a paste
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 heaped tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp kuzhambu chili powder (I like the Aachi brand)
2 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

For tempering
1 tsp fennel seeds (sombu)
3 sprigs of curry leaves
1 pinch hing

1. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a pressure cooker (or any other wide bottom vessel). Add in the fennel seeds. When they sizzle, add in the hing and the curry leaves. Let it crackle.
2. Toss in the ginger-garlic-green-chilli paste and stir fry for 15 seconds or till lightly cooked. Take care to not let it burn.
3. Add in the onions and salt and stir fry till onions turn pink.
4. Add in the ground tomatoes and mix well.
5. Add in the masala powders and stir till well-mixed with the onions and tomatoes.
6. Add in the cooked beans and 3.5 cups water. Mix well.
7. Cover the pressure cooker (if using) with lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes after the first whistle. If using a pan, simmer for 15 minutes or until the kuzhambu has reached the consistency you like.
8. Once pressure has come down, open the cooker, check the kuzhambu for salt. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serve hot with dosa or idli or appam or any rice-based tiffin item.

1. Adjust the quantity of green chilis, red chili powder and kuzhambu chili powder based on your spice tolerance level.
2. I suppose the kuzhambu will taste fine with lesser than nine beans also :-).
3. If the kuzhambu is too liquidy after it comes out of the pressure cooker, boil it again till it reaches the consistency you like.

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