Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Butter Beans Varuval (fry)

Salmonella in tomatoes! That is a scary proposition but then this one of those times I am truly happy about the Indian way of cooking everything to death. As long as we don't eat raw tomatoes, I guess we should be OK. I heard an FDA sepcialist or maybe she was from the CDC, discuss how they detect the kinds of tomatoes are affected. Interviewing each infected person and by process of elimintation focus on the foods they ate most recently and arrive at the one that was consumed by all of them and then zero in on the coomon suspect. Similar to old fashioned shoe leather hard detective work. So wash them tomatoes thoroughly and cook them before eating.

Now to the star of the recipe - Butter beans.
Loved eating fresh Butter Beans every now and then back home in India. Lucky Valli over at Cooking 4 all Seasons enjoyed them just recently, wish I could get hold of some. I can hardly remember the taste of those, since its been a while I have eaten them, other than the fact that I really really liked them. But not to despair, Lima Beans, the Butter Beans around here are just as good. Unlike mine, onion based gravies from my mothers's kitchen is rare but for a tiny bit of onion she uses, like in this delicious varuval.


1. 1 1/2 Cups of large Lima Beans soaked overnight
2. 2 Green Chilis slit
3. Curry Leaves
4. 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
5. 1/2 inch piece of ginger pounded
6. 1 tsp oil

For the Paste
1. 2 Red chilis
2. 1/2 tomato chopped
3. 2 tbsp chopped onion
4. 3/4 tbsp coriander seeds
5. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
6. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
saute the onion and tomato in just a bit of oil and dry roast the rest and make a paste using only about 1/2 tbsp of water

1. Boil the soaked butter beans in a pan with the pounded ginger till just soft and discard the ginger. (Pressure cooker is fine but be careful not to turn it into mush, cooks really quick)
2. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add the curry leaves, green chilis and fennel seeds
3. Add the ground masala and saute till raw smell goes.
4. Add the cooked butter beans and salt.
5. Saute till the masala is well coated and dry.

Serve as a side dish with sambhar/rice/curd rice.

Summer Treat
chopped, sliced or juiced - simply the best.

Other Butter Bean Recipes:
1. Cauliflower and Butter Beans Gravy


  1. butter beans varuval looks yumm.. would taste heavenly with curd rice.

  2. Oh yes but what does one do when using tomatoes for salads....Anyways..the butter beans fry looks delcious...

  3. Oh Indo...that fry looks yummy too..I can understand how much you must be missing these butter beans...water melon looks get those this season is it?

  4. Never cooked butter beans. After seeing Valli's post, I decided to buy. Now ur post has pushed it to must-buy list.

  5. That varuval looks sure it would go well with rotis too...

  6. Butter beans varuval looks good and watemelon looks juicy

  7. Haha!! That is true. We cook everything except Raita to death! Still it's better avoid until they say it's okay, specially when old people and kids are vulnerable. I bought few Tomatoes before they recalled, I still used them them in gravy anyway.
    I like the name Varuval, looks good. Kids love Butter beans. They are off school now, sleeping until 10am!! I will put them to work today for 2 hrs, since we have a appointment tomorrow!:)
    What's D doing during the break?

  8. oh boy, what is better, butter bean and this juicy watermelon, I choose both!

  9. indo, can i have both? plz...pretty plz :)

  10. oh i love butter beans..i make a simple spicy curry with it..tatses great with rice..this looks so yum..will try this next time..

  11. beans fry looks delecioussssss indo

  12. Lol on cooking onto death. I could not agree more. Loved your recipe for Lima beans and a good one to try. I have also seen Lima beans available in the frozen aisle. Of course, nothing compared to the fresh ones, but some consolation!

  13. sounds yummy...............
    I'm feeling hungry now..
    M planning to try it on...
    Would let you know the result of 5the experiment...:D

  14. That looks great. I love butterbeans and was quite sad that it's not available here. Good to hear that lima beans make a good substitute.

  15. Varuval looks great, Indo. Love the masala! :)

  16. Thats a nice dish with Lima benas. I just know of a simple stir fry but I do like the taste of those beans.
    Hasn't it been deliciously hot ?

  17. Butter beans is my hubby's fav. Have to make this recipe for him. Looks great. YUM! Love watermelon a lot....

  18. I don't know what the butter beans taste like, your way really looks yummy! About the tomatoes, yeah we were just talking the same thing couple of days ago, how safe Indian cooking is :)

  19. Also time to be thankful for a garden of our own :) Butter beans look delicious, ISG. I always want to cook up your dishes the moment I see them! Hope you're enjoying a sunny weekend :)


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