Thursday, 29 April 2010
I love this beans. We call it as mochakai. I have no idea how it is called in english. After some search I came to know that they are addressed as field beans but I am not quite sure about it. May be this beans is localized only to certain regions so that we do not have an english name. I haven't seen these beans in my husband's place (telangana region). In Madurai we get fresh ones in the month of december and it will last until march or so. My mom said now it is available all year through. You can just boil the fresh pods with salt and have them as a snack. You can prpare kootu and kuzhambu with fresh ones too. The fresh smell of the beans will be really mesmerizing. To have a look at the fresh bean pods please visit Kamala Boopathy's http://www.cookatease.com/fresh-mochai-field-beans-stir-fry. She really have some beautiful pictures in her blog. After coming here I searched, searched and searched for these beans and atlast found these dry beans in a chinese shop. No need to say how happy I would have been and how irritated my hubby was :). This dish is a very native, village dish perhaps unique to tamilnadu or perhaps to south India. Andhraites do you use these beans? This dish tastes the best when prepared with dried anchovies. Here I have used brinjals. The brinjals too taste great in this gravy.
Mochakottai ( dry mochhai)- 1 cup
Brinjal- 4 nos
Onion- 1 no
Garlic- 6 pods
Green chillies- 3 nos
Curry leaves- 25 leaflets
Coriander powder- 3 tbspns
Chilli powder- 2 tspn (adjust according to your taste)
Turmeric powder and asafoetida powder- a pinch
Tamarind- size of a small lemon (soak and extract tamarind juice)
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup ( or use 2 tbspn of dried coconut powder)
Fenugreek, mustard and jeera seeds- 1/2 tspn (for tempering)
Oil- 4 tbspns
Salt to taste
Soak the mochakottai in enough water for 8 h. This step is imporatnt to inactivate some natural protein inhibitors present in the beans which hinders with digestion. Now boil the soaked mochakottai in a cooker until they turn soft. The time taken for cooking differs depending on the beans. Mostly a single whistle is enough. Cut onions, tomato and green chillies into small pieces. Cut each brinjal into four pieces. Soak and extract tamarind juice. Extract coconut milk if you use fresh coconut meat. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot enough add the fenugreek seeds. When they turn brown add mustard and jeera seeds. Let them splutter. Now add onions, garlic pods, curry leaves, green chillies, turmeric powder and asafoetida powder and saute well until the onions turn translucent. Add the tomato pieces and saute until they become soft. Now add coriander and chilli powder. Saute for a few seconds and add boiled mochai and brinjal pieces. Mix everything together and then add tamarind juice, coconut milk or coconut powder and enough water. Boil everything well. Add salt after the brinjals are cooked. Simmer until the oil seperates on the top. A very tasty kuzhambu will be ready and it tastes yummy with hot rice, idly, dosai and chappathi.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Use brinjals with this kuzhambu. It tastes yummy. Add longitudinally slit green chillies too. They also taste wonderful in this gravy. Use this kuzhambu the next day of preparation. This helps the masala and salt to seep well into the beans making it very tasty. Happy cooking !!!
I would love to submit this recipe to Suma's 'Delicios Dals' From India event. She needed a traditional dhal recipe for her event and I am sure this dish fits in very well :)
Thanks to Indira of Mahanandi for her kind info about the telugu name of this beans and its usage in Andhra.