Wednesday, October 29, 2008

White beans curry

I saw this packet of white beans at the grocery store and felt like trying it out. I have tried a different variety of white beans, the Italian Cannellini very often, but not this one so far. A couple of days later, when I was going to prepare the white beans, after soaking them for 12 hours (!!!) as per the instructions on the packet, I saw this pile of apples I had from my neighbours house, and thought of the recent post I had seen at Deesha's blog Vegetable Platter, where she had prepared an Apple daal. I felt doing my experiment with white beans. These are a very mild, but tasty variety of apples, but, which taste best only once they are ripe. Half of these apples fall on our side of the house and our neighbours, an elderly couple, said that we could use the apples if we wanted, so I collected some of them. I didn't remember to take a photograph, but they resemble the "Boskob" variety a lot. The neighbour is also not sure, but thinks the same.
So, I washed and cored one apple and cut it up and used it for my Indian style white beans.
Now, it was only after I had prepared the beans that I got to know that these beans are the ones used for the famous American (or even British?) "baked beans". And then I thought "Of course...they look the same too!" . Although, I have yet to come across a "baked beans" which tastes good to me. Maybe it is time to prepare this dish myself......

White beans curry


1 cup white beans, soaked overnight or for 8 hours with at least 4 times the quantity of water
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cooking apple, washed, cored and cubed
2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8th tsp asafoetida, crushed with the flat side of a large knife on a cutting board

Chaunk (Tadka):
2 tbsp oil (I used one each of rapeseed- and sunflower oil)
1tsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
1/4 tsp red chili powder or to taste
1 large onion, halved vertically and chopped finely
1 clove garlic, finely grated or chopped
1/2 inch ginger, grated or chopped
1 large tomato, chopped coarsely
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 pinch black salt

  • Change the water of the soaked beans in between (reduces the substances from the beans causing flatulence)
  • Cook the beans in 2 cups fresh water in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes*
  • Add cubed potatoes and apple, and turmeric and salt and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes*
  • In a fry pan, heat oil on medium high heat and add the spices so that they splutter
  • Immediately add the garlic, ginger and onion and stir and fry till the onion becomes golden
  • add the tomatoes and the tamarind paste and cook till the required firmness or softness of tomatoes
  • Add to the cooked beans along with black salt and mix
  • Serve warm with rotis or steamed basmati rice, or even buttered toasted bread slices
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, then you would require at least 1 hour of cooking in a covered vessel
  • Depending on the pressure cooker used, the cooking times could vary, something one has to figure out on ones own,
  • The cooking time also depends on the size of the cooker and the quantity of food.
  • Usually the smell of the cooked food can also be an indication.
  • Use the booklet accompanying the pressure cooker for guidance.
This curry turned out really good and I loved eating it. I would have loved to add some more spices, but restrained bacause of sonny boy, who has yet to learn eating spicy food. And hubby...well....let's put it this way: He didn't complain, and on being asked even said "good", but also told me that he didn't like the apples in the curry. So, it is also a matter of taste. And that means, for my family's sake this is probably the last time that I prepared it with apples. But, I had good fun doing this small and successful experiment! And it was a really good combination too, if you like it, like I did. Otherwise you wouldn't have seen it here.

I'm sending this off to My Legume Love Affair, Fourth Helping started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and being hosted this month by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive.


Sophie said...

yummy, oh how I love beans! I also love your choice of ingredients, especially the apples :)!

n33ma said...

This is a good one........beans of all kind taste good dont they?Thanks for dropping by.

Monika said...

thats innovative i will try this one for sure

anudivya said...

That is very interesting! Beans and apples... wow!. I normally use the canned beans, I just can't seem to have the patience to soak them overnight.

DEESHA said...

thatz a lovely dish.. wud love them with rotis .. pic looks great

sra said...

Hi, thanks for the entry, interesting - I made apple sambar once, on a dare!

PG said...

n33ma, oh yes! Beans always taste good. I am waiting to take another trail on these. :)

Monika, do tell me once you do it.

Anudivya, I would do that too if I would find then like that. Though I don't like kidney beans always, as they also add sugar which somehow don't give them a good taste in an Indian recipe. I use them for salads though.

Thanks Disha! To me everything tatses good with roti!

Sra, it was my pleasure, and apple sambhar surely sounds very interesting!