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

Gawar Beans with Goda Masala

Mattikayalu (Gawar)
Gawar Beans (Mattikayalu, Cluster Beans)

Gawar beans seem to be purely Indian vegetables. I came to this conclusion only because I have never seen these beans in any other grocery places. Not Chinese, nor Thai, with whom we share many vegetables. Even though they are very common at Indian ritu bazaars (farmer markets), they are a rare find at Indian grocery shops here in US. I happen to like gawar beans very much. So whenever I see them, I buy a whole bunch, for at least two days’ curry-worthy. For the first-timers, the beans are easy to identify. They have a distinct flat appearance. Pale green and thin skinned ones with undeveloped seeds are best for cooking. Gawar beans are crunchier than green beans and have a slightly tougher texture, and can take a little more cooking without getting mushy. They are great simply blanched, stir-fried, or cooked with flavorful sauces, and could be served hot or cold.

For today’s meal, I seasoned the blanched gawar beans with fresh coconut and ripe red chillies. And added goda masala at the end. One tasty kura was ready for chapatis.

Fresh Coconut and Blanched Gawar Beans
Fresh Coconut and Blanched Gawar Beans


Gawar beans – half pound, about two cups of cut beans
Red onion, finely sliced – half cup
Ripe red chillies, finely sliced – a tablespoon
Fresh coconut, grated – two tablespoons
Goda masala – one tablespoon
Turmeric and salt – ¼ teaspoon each, or to taste

Gawar beans:
String the beans, and pinch off the ends. Wash and cut or snap to one inch length pieces. Add them to boiling water. Cook for a minute or two and drain.

In a wide skillet, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil.
Add a sprig of curry leaves and pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds.
When seeds start to pop, add onions and ripe red chillies. Saute to crisp.
Add the blanched gawar beans. Stir in coconut, goda masala, turmeric and salt.
Mix and then cover the skillet. Cook for about five minutes.
Serve hot. Gawar beans kura tastes superb with chapatis / rice and dal.

Gawar Bean Kura
Gawar Bean Kura

Gawar beans are available, fresh and frozen at local Indian grocery shops, here in US.
From Telugu to English, Kura=Curry

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables,Matti Kaayalu(clusterbeans) (Wednesday October 3, 2007 at 11:04 am- permalink)
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Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans

As winter approaches, the weather is turning to cool but the political scene here in Seattle is warming up to hot.

Midterm elections, where the locals would elect members to both Senate and House of Congress are in November and the candidates of both parties are in full campaign mode. It’s not only war of words and but this is also a gender war. On one side, that is on Democratic Party side, two pretty ladies. One is who looks like a confident, capable person for the Senate and for the House, the candidate name is Darcy Burner. She looks like someone from a stupor of mind numbing desk job one day got real mad at the current state of affairs and decided to run for the office. I really like her; she looks very professional, intelligent face and cute nerdy haircut. On the other side for Republican Party, two guys. For Senate, a guy who looks like a used car sales man trying to make a quick lemony sale, that kind of cunning personality and for the House – this guy looks like someone who took steroids in teenage years, off-putting, muscle/no brain kind of type.

There is an ad war going on between these candidates on local TV programs including cable. From what I have noticed so far, Democratic Party ads usually mention what they are going to do for the people of Washington state and country. Where as Republican Party ads are mostly about how “illegals” and Mexicans are going to take away the money, benefits from US or bad people are coming to our shores, boo… be very afraid and hide in your closet always, but vote for us in November. Sickening to watch that kind of sick, hate crime inducing ads from this party. That’s what going on in Seattle airwaves currently, thought some of you politics buffs would like to know.

When it comes to my kitchen, what’s going on is, I have prepared Paruppu usli with some leftover gawar beans of last week. This is another way I like to prepare these beans and the recipe inspiration is from this paruppu usli curry I have prepared last year adapting Shammy’s recipe. Gawar beans (from party of vegetables) and chana dal (protein party) are steamed and then stir-fried with onions and seasoning. End result is a pleasant, nutty taste that would be great with rice and sambhar/rasam/majjiga pulusu combination.

Steam-cooked Gawar Beans, Grinded Chana dal- Green Chilli Mixture, Onion and Curry Leaves


Gawar Beans (Mattikayalu): Washed, ends stringed and cut into one-inch pieces. Steam-cooked or blanched for few minutes to tender – about 2 cups

Chana dal: 1 cup, soaked in 2 cups of water (to soften the dal) for about 2 hours. Water drained and the chana dal is grinded to coarse mixture along with 10 green chillies, one-inch fresh ginger and one teaspoon of salt in a food processor.

Onion: Big one, finely chopped to small pieces

Popu or tadka ingredients along with two teaspoons of peanut oil

Sauteing the Curry

In a big, wide skillet, heat peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toasting curry leaves, dried red chilli pieces, cumin and mustard seeds – in that order).

To this tadka, add and saute onions and also the grinded chana dal-chilli mixture. On medium heat, constantly stirring, saute the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the raw smell of chana dal goes.

At this stage, add the steam-cooked gawar beans. Add turmeric and salt to taste also a pinch of asafoetida. Mix and cook by covering the pan for about another 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

This curry tastes great when served hot and I have been preparing it as a side dish to rice and sambhar. Good combination.

Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans, Okra Sambhar and Rice

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal,Indian Vegetables,Matti Kaayalu(clusterbeans) (Monday October 23, 2006 at 11:48 am- permalink)
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Mattikayala Kura (Gawar Beans Curry)

Mattikayalu (Gawar)
Mattikayalu or Gawar Beans

Gawar or Mattikayalu, the beautiful pale green colored beans, they may not be as popular as regular green beans, but they have a serious following among Indians. Nutty, delicate, mellow ruchi (flavor) of gawar beans has an addictive quality and when seasoned with Indian ingredients, they literally shine and become quite irresistible. No wonder this old-world vegetable continues to be popular and available in Indian grocery shops even here in US. Guar gum, an extract of gawar is also a popular additive in frozen dairy products like icecreams, custards etc, it seems. Labels of these commercial products often list guar gum as an ingredient. Using secret ingredients like these may be the reason why we could never recreate the store-bought icecream taste at home and why we love to shop for these products, I think.

These gawar beans with their somewhat thick skin are best when steamed or blanched, which allows to retain their characteristic crunchiness and maximum ruchi by preserving vitamins, minerals that would be lost with plain boiling. String the ends, cut the beans and steam cook them. Saute them with masala powder of your choice for few minutes. A delicious curry for white rice/chapati would be ready.

Steam-Cooked Gawar Beans, Dalia, Dried Red Chilli and Cumin ~ Ingredients for Gawar Bean Curry


Gawar beans, ends stringed and cut into one inch pieces – 3cups
Medium sized onion -1, cut into small pieces
For Masala Powder:
¼ cup of pappulu (dalia or roasted chana dal)
6 to 8 dried red chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of each – cumin, dry coconut powder
¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste –
Grind them all to smooth powder without adding water
For popu or tadka:
1 tsp of peanut oil
1 tsp of each – cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and few curry leaves

Take cut gawar beans into a steamer basket and steam over a pot of boiling water, covered, until they reach the softness you desire or for about 5 minutes. Or drop them in hot boiling water, keep them covered for about 2 to 3 minutes and quickly drain them in a colander. Do not overcook, they become flabby and tasteless.

In a wide skillet, heat peanut oil. Add and saute popu or tadka ingredients, onions and steam-cooked gawar beans, in that order for few minutes. Sprinkle in the masala powder and also quarter teaspoon of each – turmeric and salt. Mix and cook them covered for about 10 minutes, on medium-low heat, occasionally stirring in-between.

Tastes great with rice and with chapati.

Gawar Bean Curry with Red Onions and Spicy Dalia Powder

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Matti Kaayalu(clusterbeans) (Wednesday October 18, 2006 at 11:11 am- permalink)
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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)
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