I have been trying to post this recipe for weeks and have been hesitating as I am not sure what the biological name for this bean is. I did some research on Google and found that it is the field bean but then some people were calling it the hyacinth bean as well. Also Known as Lima beans, Dried vaal, Fava beans, Butter beans.
It’s sold in Indian shops as val or vaal. Val curry is really popular in all Gujarati homes and served as a dish at most Gujarati weddings too. Val beans have exceptional nutritional value. They are high in protein as well as vitamin A, the vitamin B complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as various minerals and enzymes. Highly recommended as rich in nutrients like protein and fiber which aid digestion and help prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Val grows like any bean as a creeper. It’s green beans are called valor (Dolichos Lablab or Hyacinth bean) and they look like this:
Valor curry is really tasty too.
It’s seeds (you can see them below) can be eaten green or are dried and become the val bean.
And this is what they look like dried:
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 2 cups of whole Val
- I cup of Passata ( you can used fresh tomatoes too or tinned tomatoes too) Passata is made from ripe tomatoes that have been puried and sieved to remove the skin and seeds. It’s sauce is a lot thicker and helps make the gravy in curry look richer and thicker. Passata is sold in bottles or cartons in most supermarkets and comes in various flavours such as garlic, basil etc.
- 2 tbls of oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 2 tsp of mustard seeds
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1 tsp ajwein seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chilly powder
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- 1 tbls sugar substitute like Splenda ( or you can used jaggery or brown sugar
- 1 small bunch of coriander
- some curry leaves.
- 2 fresh green chilies sliced into small pieces
1. Wash and soak the val beans overnight (at least 6-7 hours).
2. Once soaked, boil them in lots of water until soft. Val beans do take a lot of time to cook so using a pressure cooker would make this a lot easier. My tip is to soak a large amount of val beans and cook them all and freeze them to use as required.
3. Once cooked, strain the water and prepare the tempering.
Tip: If the sauce looks too runny – you can 1 or 2 teaspoons of chick pea flour or corn flour to thicken it. If you like your gravy to be runny, you can add half a cup of water to the mixture.
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