Cluster Bean curry (guvar nu shak)

Guvar are also called cluster beans and available fresh in most Asian grocers. They also sell a ready prepared frozen version which is handy to keep in the freezer. My recipe for guvar/cluster beans with potatoes is here.  This curry doesn’t have potatoes and is cooked slightly differently.

Curry made using fresh guvar is the best. Cooking time for Guvar (Cluster beans) with Potato Curry is difficult to judge as fresh tender guvar cooks a lot faster than older guvar.



Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 4 cups of cut and prepared guvar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain (also called ajma or carom seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon of dhana jiru (mixture of cumin and coriander powder)
  • 2-3 cloves of blended garlic
  • 1 cup of blended tomatoes ( you can use fresh or tinned)
  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate (only use if the guvar isn’t tender)


1. To prepare the guvar, trim the top and bottom of the guvar and cut then into small pieces. Traditionally my mum and aunts  just pulled the cluster beans into small pieces using their hand but you can use a knife if you find it easier. If the guvar isn’t tender, remove the hard fibrous ends that come off when you chop the ends.




2. Once chopped, wash the guvar/cluster beans and then add plenty of water and a pinch of soda bi carbonate and boil the guvar/cluster beans.  Once they get soft, drain the water from the guvar/cluster beans.IMG_7123

3.  Heat the oil and add in the ajwain seeds.  For this curry ajwain is an essential ingredient. Ajwain adds a lovely fragrance to the guvar and it also helps with digestion.

3. Once the ajwain go dark, add the tomatoes and the garlic, salt, turmeric, chilly powder and dhana jiru.

4. Stir well and allow to cook until the tomatoes have cooked.


5. Now add the boiled guvar/cluster beans to the tomato mixture.IMG_71246.  Stir and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes.IMG_7125

6. Serve this curry hot with chappatis

Here are some more curry recipes you may wish to  try out:

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