Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresh Cranberry beans with Coconut masala

Here is an interesting article I saw here on WSJ. The article says that the amount of food we eat and how we eat is linked to our personalities.

I like to eat when bored or watching movies or reading. A good movie is never good enough unless I have a bag of junk food to go with it. Whoever came up with selling popcorn at the movies is a genius.

As I was heating my lunch at work in walked a colleague who had a plate of some good looking but fatty food (his words not mine). He accidentally dropped something. As we were talking about the 5 second rule he quickly dropped it in the trash. His comment was though the food his wife had cooked tasted great the less he eats the better. Portion control is of course key and where most of us stumble. With our sedentary work conditions burning of calories is a big ask.

My brother on the other hand thinks that perhaps cutting short the time between meals and having 6 small meals instead of 3 big one is the key.

When do you have the craving for junk food?

The recipe for today is cranberry beans. I find these fresh cranberry beans usually during November or December. Nothing like fresh beans. They taste very different from the dried ones and the biggest is the absence of the flatulence tendencies. I found these beans in my local International market (how is that for an oxymoron?). The recipe is from an amazing blog which is one of my favorites - Rak's Kitchen, the blog I mean.

I added grated ginger and a tiny bit of tamarind for blending and skipped garlic but otherwise followed the recipe.

Fresh Cranberry beans with Coconut Masala
1. 2 Cups of shelled fresh Cranberry beans (soaked dried beans can be substituted)
2. 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
3. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4. 1 tbsp grated ginger
5. seasonings: curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp of urad dal
6. 1 tsp of oil
7. salt to taste

For the Paste
1. 1/2 tbsp of coriander seeds
2. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
3. 4-5 red chilies
4. 2 tsp of black pepper
5. 2 tbsp of grated fresh or frozen coconut
6. a small tiny bit of tamarind
Saute 1-4 in a tiny bit of oil and finally the coconut without letting the coconut burn. Add in the tamarind and turn off the heat. Blend to a coarse paste with a couple of tbsp of water.

1. Boil the beans on the stove top till cooked. (just barely because the beans will continue to cook in the masala).
2. Heat oil in a wide mouthed pan and when hot add the urad dal. When brown add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds followed by the curry leaves.
3. Add the chopped onions and saute till translucent.
4. Add in the ginger and saute for a minute.
5. add in the drained cooked beans and turmeric and give a good mix.
6. Now add in the masala, mix it well into the beans and cook for another 10 till the masala is dry and coated well on the beans. Add salt and cook for a minute more.

If you'd like a slightly wet curry, add a bit more water. The gravy tastes great with rice.


  1. happy new year! it's been ages. thanks for stopping by :)

  2. A flatulence-free-beans? That's a vegetarian South Beach Dieter's dream come true! :-) I haven't seen cranberry beans around, but I don't really pay much attention to beans in a store, will look out for these. And yeah, I am with your brother on eating smaller meals more often, though it is really really hard to do without a personal butler to cook and serve :(

  3. Its quite to rare to find out this cranberry beans here, super tempting masala.

  4. Now here is a recipe worthy of you, ISG -- you do have a way with beans of all sorts! My mom uses these in succotash -- we find them also as 'horticultural' beans. They are a pretty plant for your garden, too... if I remember correctly they flower pinkish-purple.

    I am in your brother's camp with several small meals rather than few large ones. Lately I have been microwaving papad for a crunchy snack when that craving hits :) Have a happy Tues!

  5. These beans are really new to me.
    Oh i eat when I am bored, and i agree if you read or watch TV you need something junk to snack :-)
    I think only time i am off food is when i am upset for something, and seeing my weight i think i am not tat often upset :-)

  6. I assumed you do not eat Junk food Indo, I was mistaken. They do taste great and everybody agrees. I do`nt crave for one while watching movies but while I am idle yes I do indulge in eating some.
    I do not get the beans here but I make a similar fry with the Mochai and other beans.

  7. I love these cranberry beans too and reminds me of the butter beans we got in India... my daughter loves shelling them. I always make a kurma with it.. must try this.

    I love to eat when watching tv too doesn't have to be snacks but even a proper meal... which i hear is a no-no to lose weight... :(

  8. I haven't seen fresh beans a lot - chickpeas was the first I saw in Delhi....cranberry is a first. Nice fusion there!

  9. Thank you for posting this recipe - looks and sounds delicious :) Flatulence-free-beans!


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