Valache Birdhe is an extremely popular bean gravy and has helped soothe many aching hearts and settle ruffled feathers after long gruelling work days.I managed to procure a few packets of these beautiful field beans with brown skin after a lot of searching!Hubs goes completely mental at the mere mention of this dish and insisted on me uploading the recipe and help all the other hungry hubbies out there..ahem ..so without further ado ladies and gents I present to you yummyscrummy recipe.
This is a typical C.K.P way of making a rather traditional legume curry. Vaal or kadve vaal (kadve meaning bitter in Marathi) are generically referred to as Field Beans in English.
Preparation Time: 20 mins. Soaking and Sprouting: Depends on the climate, longer in winter about 2-3 days.
Serves:2 as a main course served with boiled rice or Indian bread – chapatti and a bhaji (sabzee/sabji) as an accompaniment
- Vaal – one and half cupful – soaked, sprouted and skin removed – takes a few days
- Garlic Cloves – 3- 4 with skin
- Asafoetida a tiny pinch
- Red onion – one small finely chopped for the pan
- Dried Kokum – 2-3 or tamrind paste 1tsp or dried tamrind soaked in water -remove the pips and use the gooey thick bits
- 1/2 tsp Jaggery
- Mustard Seeds -1 tiny pinch
- Cumin/Jeera- 1 small pinch
- Oil – 1 and 1/2 large tbsp
- Red Chilli Powder -1 tsp
- Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder -1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Fresh Coriander finely chopped to garnish – half of bunch
- 3-4 heaped tbsp grated coconut paste made by running through a mixer fresh grated coconut or frozen coconut with 1 green chilli and 1 clove of garlic.My mum prefers to also add 1/2 a finely chopped red onion which has been tossed on a pan with the coconut and green chilli – must admit it lends a toasty warmth to the gravy but I skip this step simply because the I compensate for it by using the onion in the pan!
- Salt as per taste
- Soak the Vaal overnight, change the water in the morning and by evening if they appear puffed then wrap them in a damp cloth and set aside in a vessel with a lid to create an environment warm enough to allow them to sprout
- Remove sprouted vaal into a bowl and pour like warm water on them,stir with your palms to loosen the skin and many will float to the top,decant the water and remove all the rest of the skins and discard .
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and dust some asafoetida and throw in the mustard and cumin.
- When the cumin seeds begin to pop, throw in the garlic with their skin on and smashed to flatten them and as they turn colour and release their aroma,add he chopped onion.
- When the onion turns a delicate pink add turmeric powder,red chilli powder and then add the vaal/field beans.
- Now add the turmeric,red chilli,coriander and cumin powders and quickly stir in enough water to cover the beans.
- On a low flame cook with lid.
- When the vaal is almost done,add the jaggery,coconut paste and the tamarind paste or the water from the dried tamarind which has been soaked or dried kokum soaked in water and when the vaal are done add salt and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
- The logic of adding salt towards the very end is so that it does not interfere with the rest of the spices as they pack a punch into the beans while they cook and also salt can hasten the cook time for the vaal which is not ideal as the full strength of all the flavours steeping into the curry will not happen.
I do know this process sounds rather cumbersome and complex but believe you me its easy peasy and the main labour is only getting rid of the skins.
Do leave me a comment of you make this dish and also any variations to the recipe that you may have heard of, any anecdotes,happy memories are always welcome.
Bon Appe’tit !
P.S: coming soon a Vaal Pilaf recipe that’s another firm family fav!