Living away from India, there are many things I miss - family, friends, festivals and of course food! I try to cook the dishes that we miss being away from home. But here we don't get many vegetables we usually cook with back in India and sometimes have to resort to frozen vegetables. After some bitter experiences with frozen veggies, I completely stopped buying them. During a usual grocery shopping at Indian store, I saw this packet of pre-cut cluster beans in frozen section. I love cluster beans and was tempted to buy them.
Cluster beans is a type of green beans with a slightly bitter taste. It is known as kothavarangai in Tamil, guar/gawar in Hindi and kothamara in Malayalam. This low-calorie and nutrient rich vegetable is good for heart, bones and diabetics. It helps reducing cholesterol level, managing blood pressure and improves blood circulation. We usually make sambar, poriyal (stir-fry), usili (stir fry with lentils), kootu and sabji / curries with this beans.
I made a South Indian style stir fry with that packet of cluster beans and luckily it tasted good. I felt they were slightly more bitter than the fresh ones. The tamarind and sugar helped to balance the bitterness. This stir fry tastes best when served with rice and sambar, but it also goes well with any kuzhambu and curd rice. Let's see how to make this healthy cluster beans stir fry.
Notes and Tips
- If you find the beans is too bitter, add little sugar while cooking the beans.
- We usually prepare without onion and garlic. If you want, you can add 1 small chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves after tempering.
- Before adding coconut, make sure there is no water left after cooking beans.
- I used pre-cut beans which where already chopped into ½-inch long pieces.
- Adjust green chillies according to your spice preference.