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

Three-Bean Curry (French, Indian and Lima)

Green Beans, Shelled Indian Beans, Baby Lima Beans
Green Beans, Shelled Indian Beans, Baby Lima Beans

Here in the US, farmers’ markets are usually bursting with fresh green beans during this time of the year. When we first moved here, during my getting to know the US veggies better phase, regular staple in my kitchen was curries and pulaos prepared with frozen green beans. Frozen green beans are cheap, already cut and cook easily. Taste not that good, still I bought them. But after a year of frozen stuff, I had enough and I’ve sworn off green beans entirely. Then, I discovered the farmfresh green beans of springtime and how good they tasted. From then on, along with radishes, beans became a springtime staple at my home.

My recipe here is same as the old classic, the favorite of Indian cookbook authors, where beans are cut into quarter inch length pieces, saut?ed with onions and green chilli-coconut paste. To this basic recipe, I have also added two other types of shelled beans to increase the nutritional value as well as taste. The shelled Indian beans (Papdi Lilva, the middle ones in the photo above) are available in frozen section of Indian grocery shops here, year round and baby lima beans; you could get them from regular grocery shops. They both taste little bit sweet and starchy, compliments the mildly woodsy taste of fresh french beans.

Sauteing the three-bean curry
Sauteing the three-bean curry


Fresh Green beans – 2 cups of chopped quarter-inch length pieces
Shelled Indian broad beans – ½ cup
Baby lima beans – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Green chillies- 4 to 6 and coconut powder, a tablespoon – made into smooth paste
Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste
For tadka or tiragamata:
1 tsp of peanut oil
1 tsp of mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and few curry leaves

Heat peanut oil in a kadai or a wide pan. Add and toast the tadka ingredients. Add and stir-fry the onions for about 2 minutes. Add the green beans, Indian beans and Lima beans. Cook, covered for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Beans will soften within 5 minutes by cooking in their own moisture, sort of like steam cooking. At this stage, stir in green chilli-coconut paste, salt and turmeric. Cover and cook on medium heat for another 5-10 minutes stirring in between. Serve hot with chapatis or with rice and dal.

3-bean curry with chapatis
3-bean curry with chapatis

More about Indian Bean Seeds, Papdi Lilva or Chikkudu Vittanalu – Here

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chikkudu Kaya (BroadBeans),Green Beans,Lima Beans (Tuesday May 30, 2006 at 1:17 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Indian Broad Bean Stir-fry (Chikkudukaya Kura)

My next-door neighbor often complains, “We don’t eat enough greens like you guys do.” Some of my friends often complain, “We are not having enough protein in our diet.”

Usually they turn the blame on to their native culture and say that their American or Indian food doesn’t have enough of something or the other. See, for them, the fault is not with their eating habits; rather it is of the culture/cuisine. It’s always a surprise to me, when I hear that Indian food (particularly vegetarian) doesn’t have sufficient protein content. It is a big myth for me. People often have a mental picture in their minds, which shows only meat products when they think of protein. Since in our Indian food we don’t consume as much meat as our American counterparts do, we tend to think that we are not getting sufficient protein.

Different types of lentils, legumes, some fresh vegetables (like the one below) contain high quality protein and so do chicken, egg and milk. Poor cooking/eating habits or lack of nutritional information about the ingredients that we use might be the main reason for complaining I think. Though we studied about these nutritional values in our school days, we tend to forget them very easily, it seems.

As I am writing these posts in my blog, I am learning a lot more about the nutritional values of the vegetables. One very important vegetable that is rich in minerals and protein is ‘Indian Broad bean’ or ‘Chikkudu‘. This is one of the very tasty vegetables available for us, here in US and the recipe shown below is a simple and traditional way of making a stir-fry curry with it.

Indian Broad beans (Chikkudu kaya)
Indian Broad Beans, Chikkudu Kaya

15 to 20 Indian Broad beans – ends trimmed and cut or teared into 1 inch pieces.
1 medium sized onion – finely sliced
4 green chillies and 1 teaspoon of coconut – made into smooth paste
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon of salt or to taste
For popu or tadka:
1 tsp of peanut oil
1 tsp each of – mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and few curry leaves

Bring a pot half filled with water to a boil. When the water is at dancing stage with bubbles and everything, add and cook the cut broad beans pieces for two minutes. That’s it, don’t overcook and drain them into a colander. If the broad beans are very tender, then you can skip this step and proceed like below.

Heat peanut oil in a sauté pan. Add and toast the popu ingredients. Add and sauté the finely chopped onion for few minutes until they soften. Stir in green chilli-coconut paste and turmeric. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the broad bean pieces, stir in salt. Cover and cook the curry on medium-low for about 5 minutes or until the pieces are tender. Serve hot with rice or with chapati.

Chikkudu kaya Podi Kura with Chapatis
Indian Broad Bean Stir-fry with Chapati ~ Our simple Meal Today

Recipe source:Amma
Indian broad beans are avialable in Indian grocery shops here in US, almost year round.
Indian broad beans in Peanut Sauce – Recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chikkudu Kaya (BroadBeans) (Thursday May 11, 2006 at 4:54 pm- permalink)
Comments (29)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Indian Broad Beans Curry (Chikkudu Kaya Kura)

Fresh beans can be exciting, particularly Indian broad beans. Compared to green beans, they have a more prominent beany taste and the seeds inside are plump, meaty and mildly sweet like baby lima beans. Back in Andhra, it is a popular vegetable to grow. Backyards covered with these bean plants provide shelter from the hot sun; they not only enrich the soil with their roots(legumes) and also us – the plump beans are nature’s tiny capsules of proteins. Very nourishing and tasty. You can find Indian broad beans during spring and summer at local Indian grocery shops here in US.

Indian Broad Beans, Chikkudu Kayalu


20 to 25 Indian broad beans (pick plump ones)
2 ripe tomatoes and 1 onion – finely sliced
Make a paste
½ cup of roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon of tamarind juice
2 cloves and 1 small cinnamon stick
½ tsp of chilli powder and salt
¼ tsp of turmeric
1 tablespoon of powdered jaggery
(Take all these in a blender, add half glass of water and puree them to smooth paste)
For Popu or tadka
1 tsp of mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves

Adding the Indian Broad beans to the curry sauce


Wash the broad beans. Take them in a plate, remove the ends and string them. Just pluck the end of a 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 into small pieces.

Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil in a big pan. Add and toast mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves. Add and saute onions and then tomatoes. When they are softened, add the cut broad beans. Stir in peanut-tamarind paste and another half to one glass of water. Cook them covered, stirring in between, on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans are properly cooked. Have a taste and add salt and jaggery if needed.

Serve warm with rice or chapati and enjoy this classic sweet and sour, nutty and beany, Andhra curry.

Chikkudu Kaya Kura and Annam(Indian Broadbean curry and rice) - Our lunch today
Indian Broad bean curry and rice (Chikkudu kaaya kura and Annam) ~ Our lunch

Recipe Source:Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chikkudu Kaya (BroadBeans),Peanuts (Tuesday March 7, 2006 at 1:57 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi: