Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Cluster Beans Curry (Gawar/Mattikayala Kura)

Cluster Beans (Gawar, Goopshimbi, Matti kayalu, Chevula Kayalu, Goru Chikkulu)

Young, fresh cluster beans (Gawar, Matti kayalu) have a narrow and long body with tiny pods. They are very popular vegetable in Andhra. What I gathered from the Internet about cluster beans is that they are native to India and are widely grown, not only in Andhra but also in other parts of country (dry, warm and arid regions). Young ones are harvested for vegetable use. The mature pods – the seeds are harvested to be dried and powdered to flour known as guar gum. Guar gum is used as thickening agent in commercial food preparations like ice creams etc. I also came to know that cluster beans are not only low in calories but are also very effective in lowering the blood sugar and cholesterol levels. I didn’t know about that till now.

These cluster beans (gawar) are available in Indian grocery shops, both fresh and frozen here in US. They are eaten whole and have a delicate flavor, providing they are not overcooked. Even the young, fresh cluster beans need to be topped and tailed and may also need stringing. Just pluck the end of a cluster bean with your hand, and then pull downward; if a thick thread comes away, the bean need stringing, so do the same on the other side. The beans can then be sliced either using a sharp knife or with your hands. Cut or pluck them to pieces of one-inch length.

Blanched cluster beans, onion and green chilli-coconut paste


2 cups of cut cluster beans
1 onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 green chillies and 3 tablespoons of grated fresh coconut, blend to smooth
¼ teaspoon each- salt and turmeric or to taste

Add the cut cluster beans to boiling, salted water and cook until just tender or al dente and drain. Usually one or two minutes is sufficient. When overcooked, beans turn to flabby, flavorless things. So keep an eye on them and do not overcook.

While beans are cooking, in a wide skillet, heat one teaspoon of oil and toast mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and 2 sliced garlic cloves. Add and fry the onion pieces for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Add the blanched cluster beans, green chilli-coconut paste, turmeric and salt. Turning occasionally, cook them for about 5 minutes.

Tastes great with rice or chapati.

Cluster bean curry with rice, gongura dal and sabudana papadam
Cluster Bean Curry with Rice, Gongura Dal and Sago Papad ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Indian Vegetables,Matti Kaayalu(clusterbeans) (Wednesday October 26, 2005 at 3:53 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

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19 comments for Cluster Beans Curry (Gawar/Mattikayala Kura) »

  1. Indira, I REALLY wish I lived nearby you 🙂 I’d be a very frequent guest at your place!

    I havent had “kothavarakkai” (in Tamil) in ages… I didnt like them as a kid but as I grew older, the flavour kind of grew on me. Now I actually like their slightly bitter flavour. Must look out for cluster beans on my next visit to Birmingham.

    Comment by shammi — October 26, 2005 @ 6:01 pm

  2. They look so good. I have some at home now and you have reminded me to use them. My mom makes them similarly and also along with plantains. Your meal looks yummy.

    Comment by mika — October 26, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

  3. hi indira … i have never had cluster beans here in US, my mom used to make it in India.. but she never uses coconut paste .. instead she uses shredded coconut after the beans is done.. your recipe seems to be a better version 😉 great recipe indira.. and i always wanted to try gongura dal but i never get gongura here :(.. neways thanx for ur recipes…

    Comment by priya — October 27, 2005 @ 10:33 am

  4. Shammi..come and visit me during holiday season.:)

    Mika.. thanks. Cooked in this way, plantain also tastes great, except that I add some soaked chana dal.

    Priya.. may I ask about your location?

    Comment by Indira — October 27, 2005 @ 5:00 pm

  5. indira i live in little rock, Arkansas ( guess u never heard of this place b’fore 😉 )

    Comment by priya — October 27, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  6. Priya, we spent one night in Little Rock on our way to Ozark mountains, Hot springs, for a 3 day fall trip, when we were in Houston. I remember the area, we took lot of photos too. Fall time is quite spectacular there.

    Comment by Indira — October 27, 2005 @ 7:39 pm

  7. iam glad someone has ever heard of this place.. this is indeed a beautiful place.. very calm and quiet beautiful landscape.. its more like a coutryside.. it has only one indian restauran and that palce is really pathetic..horrible food.. and only one indian store.. were u dont get lots of indian stuff…

    Comment by priya — October 28, 2005 @ 10:48 am

  8. hi indira, i made this today.. and the taste and aroma was so much like being in kerala . thanx for the recipe.

    Comment by priya,ar — November 24, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

  9. I would like share a recipe with cluster beans – has always turned out well.
    After picking the threads of the beans ,snap them into two pieces.
    After the tadka of mustard seeds and hing – add the beans and fairly big pieces of chopped onion.Add turmeric and salt and a coarse paste of ginger,garlic and green chillies.Cover the pan with a lid ,to which some water is added ( the same effect as steaming)and simmer the vegetable on medium – to low heat.After perhaps 10 minutes or so, remove the lid – the beans must be cooked by now.Stir fry for a few minutes more.Finally before removing add ajwain (or ‘omum’in Tamil)This aids in digestion and gives the dish a good flavor.

    Indira replies:
    Hi Sudha, thanks for sharing your recipe. Sounds good to me. Definitely going to give it a try. Thanks!

    Comment by Sudha Iyer — March 18, 2006 @ 11:21 am

  10. Hey Indira,

    Gonna try ur recipe today for 6 friends of mine.
    Lets hope it works. will tell you the results tomorrow

    Comment by Deeps — June 26, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  11. Hey Indira,

    Thanks a lot for the info on our good old kothavarangai. After reading your recipe and the ‘Nutritious gawar’ recipe by Harshita Chainani in, I got ideas to try my own variation with the ingredients I had available at home. I did this just a while ago (12.30pm on July 27, 2006 in Jersey City). Here goes:

    250g gawar cleaned, stringed, top-and-tail trimmed and cut into one-and-a-half inch pieces. In just enough salted boiling water, throw in these gawar pieces and cook until tender.

    Grind the following ingredients into a fine paste:

    ¼ tsp hing powder
    ¼ tsp turmeric powder
    ¼ tsp dhania powder
    ¼ tsp jeera powder
    ¼ tsp methi powder
    ¼ tsp white thil seeds
    ¼ tsp khus khus
    1 tbsp mint leaves
    1 green chilli
    1 inch adharak
    1 tbsp roasted gram

    In a frypan, add 3tsp of extra virgin olive oil. When it is hot, add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Then, add 1 tbsp of red onions that are cut into thin, long strips. Saute the onion strips and when it is transparent and pink, add the cooked gawar and stir fry. Add the following ground paste and add the required salt to taste. Stir fry for three more minutes in low heat.

    Serve hot with methi phulkas.

    Comment by Mythili Ravi — July 27, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

  12. Hi Indira,

    Your beans curry looks great. Also check my way of cooking these beans with coconut and onion.


    Comment by Rekha — June 6, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  13. Hi Indira,

    I tried your receipe and it turned out gr8.
    As far as my knowledge goes boiling the vegtables in water along with salt, tends to lose its nutrient value. can you clarify?


    Comment by Kavya — July 26, 2007 @ 8:35 am

  14. hi!
    this looks really gr8 recipe..
    i always try for new one..
    my cluster beans recipe…is like this:
    boil beans with salt and haldi in cooker for 2 whistles..
    then meanwhile i fry the onions and redchillies in little oil and grind it to semi solid paste
    in another pan, oil+ jeera+ paste+ clusterbeans
    fry it for 10mins..
    it goes well with rice or chapathi

    Comment by malini — August 31, 2007 @ 6:27 am

  15. Indira, tks for the info and recipe..I have been told by a north indian friend that cluster beans taste bitter if chopped wt knife..its better to use hands to break into pcs..I shall be trying your recipe tonight! Tks.

    Comment by Purnima — November 14, 2007 @ 7:35 am

  16. GM Indira,I tried this recipe yesterday night..was over within no time, even my toddler liked it! Tks for posting.

    I am happy to read that you tried and liked this recipe Purnima. Your child sounds like a cute darling.

    Comment by Purnima — November 14, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  17. Indira:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe with the goruchikkudu kaya. The staple at my mom’s place was goruchikkudu kaya pulusu koora ( with tamarind and jaggery ). My aunt would make very simple goruchikkudu vepudu ( reminds me of a hearty dinner on the cold winter days ) that eliminates the need to cut this vegetable fine. Just split the very long ones into two and make a small slit at one end. Heat oil in kadai, add the washed and split pieces. Fry them till they are crisp. Turn off the stove and add chilli powder and salt at the end. Goes very well with rice and a little ghee.

    Comment by Kalyani — October 10, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  18. Hey Indira…. I tried ur recipe sterday…. It was awesome.. U know, there can be only one place in my house where i would have never entered, dats the kitchen..I got married 2 months back and found it very difficult to manage with cooking.. Also, immediately after my marriage i had to come to US so it was very very difficult.. But now, after getting ur recipes, i feel so happy.. Now i’ve started cooking in full swing and i have many items by going thro the recipes in your site… Thanks a lot Indira!!! I appreciate your service… Do continue it and All the best!!

    Comment by Krithika — October 23, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  19. Gr8 recipe

    Comment by swets — June 23, 2014 @ 3:17 am

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